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  CSPAN    U.S. Senate    News/Business.  

    August 21, 2013
    2:00 - 7:31pm EDT  

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revenue stream for that city, and it never came back. if there are banks that are too big to fail and we have to step in to make sure that they function be, there are cities that are too big to fail. [applause] >> we just saw -- [inaudible] one of those cities. >> yes. and it's not enough for the administration to say, oh, we're behind you, detroit. no. we said to wall street $800 billion we're behind you, so that's being behind me. [laughter] >> okay. mark -- [inaudible] that's behind you. what would be some of those policies? >> so wall street caused more damage than what we have put into the budget. there needs to be a financial transaction tax, because when they -- [applause] we lose. and they have to pay for cleaning up the whole mess.
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not just their mess, not just the mess that let them get their jobs back, get their bonuses back and then argue for a tax cut after they got their bonuses and we saved their bankrupt companies. if we saved aig that was bankrupt, we can save detroit that's bankrupt. and if aig who caused the downturn in the first place could get a bonus because it stated in their contract they had to get a bonus, then detroit city workers can get a pension just hike it said in their contract. [applause] ..
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which of course makes the united states different and unique from other countries in the world supporting the immigrants now no other country even comes close. but looking to the future, it's going to be a different picture demographically. this doesn't mean everybody is when to have great economic opportunity in the future. we don't know where that will be and everything will be important in shaping that economic future of hitting it will also be important to see how a young people today come of age and so when you ask us to take a look at the future, i think there's a tremendous number of opportunities, a tremendous number of challenges as well. i think everything you said it plays into shaping that america
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for the future which will be different than we see today. >> great comment. lisa? >> i have a whole list. [laughter] first full employment would be awesome and 50 years to be about to say that we started somewhere in the 2020's mabey. we worked on this. you know, i just want to also talk about the fact we are in the house of labor and, you know, there's been a long history of pacific islanders in the history in the labour movement and in a union organizing and i feel like there are many, many causes that could be framed so they could get behind whether so it was the strikes in california.
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there are so many labor leaders but i think that it is a large rate of incarceration and racial profiling and the south asian community very much relates to that. i think the issue with photo id. you've got older african-americans and immigrants who are like, you know that is something we can mobilize a lot more. living wages and jobs. to work on a lot of the safety net ground nobody really talks about that anymore. there's not an active advocacy movement particularly proud of the racial justice as well as an economic justice where is that infrastructure. i think that labor has been amazing in trying to bring together african-american and immigrant communities about immigration reform to say this is about all of us in this country. i think that the work that a lot of us up here on the stage have
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been a around housing has gone down with a financial crisis. i think that those are some of the things we need a more robust conversation about how all of those things come together and i think that particularly communities of color and knowing some of this history we need to move forward in a more direct and intentional way. >> mark talked about fact the demographics of the country are changing and certainly that we will see in the near future where the minority is now the majority. and you think about dr. martin luther king said and what his speeches when he talked about the fear and the fear of not knowing each other and sometimes that creates a crisis for working together. and so we have a changing demographic. we have a gap in our economy and the fear of not working together. how do we as organizers or
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leaders and champions bring together the kind of collaborative environment to have the conversation that is now put on our table that we want to have about moving forward and what can we do to help organize or bring that forward are there any thoughts that you want to add? >> the defense like this are a part of that and the conversation where we all talk about the different experiences of all these different groups. but the defense like this are an important part of that moving forward. >> i think right where the problem is coming looking back in 1963 until today we would see a much smaller movement in terms of the share of workers organized. when the workers had a voice they had a way of making sure the tide was going to be divided a little more fairly. since the 1970's it isn't divided more fairly.
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more and more goes to interests and less goes to workers. it turnsink the tie for the into a cycle of itself with a smaller and smaller tide. we are not creating a smaller type. we are at the point that people creating. we needed the government to take the side of those of us that are earning our pay versus those of us speculating on wall street. [applause] when we do that then we can understand whether the worker is picking on each other. it's really how degette a voice back to the workers and back to those of us who get up and actually earn a paycheck and make something and how do we then read divide the time and make policies that are fair for
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everyone. >> maybe you can help me out here. there are cities that are going to be majority minority sooner rather than 20512020, what ever the country is going to turn. i knew it was somewhere in there. so i think it could be interesting to go a lot deeper in a couple of those places where there is a pretty diverse demographic and also where there's going to be that slipping point because we have concerns of what's going to happen and as national leaders we should be figuring that out. >> one of the challenges is that we all say the right thing about the employer getting a job, and i'm not talking about collective, i'm talking about
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american. we get to the position where we actually are a little bit taking care of more than our needs by what we are urning and our urning mechanisms. sometimes the values change and i guess my next question to you is how do we think about the american dream and reiterate the values that once again put all of us on an equal playing field level. how do we get back to whether it's the martin luther king i had a dream or bobby kennedy equal rights and opportunities and how can we ourselves individually within the groups tie ourselves to those principles of equal opportunity?
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>> they have a really good web site on what policies drove this level of inequality between the 1% and the other 99% of us and i think looking at those series of policies whether it is the deconstruction of the safety net for workers and taking away the rights to organize, taking away the pension, taking away the health care and retirement whether it is the free trade agreement with the wages of american workers. all of these are policy choices that we have made and it is really in powering us to say no we understand those outcomes the matter how you cross it up we understood what they do to us as the american people and american workers and let us then talk about fighting against those kind of policies and the kind of policies they kicked us off saying that we had to stop and i think that that is a useful tool if you go to the website and
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sort of look at broken down in a way that most people can follow. >> in my own community coming and you might be able to speak to this. when we start talking out complex financial terms or understand a certain interest rates and impact even talking about the national debt in a way that doesn't just relate to their immediate home situation it's difficult for people to understand these pieces and the impact with federal policy. and i think as a community of culver this is over challenge. we tried to have a conversation before when we talked about the gap or about the asset building. we have had conversations and get we still haven't gotten the attraction that i believe you were talking about in the dialogue that we need. did you have some ideas? >> we can take a look at many
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latinos don't for example of a bank account. the reports and the council covered this particular point. when you did you look at the wealth building and latinos even prior to the recession while many owned homes were rising to a record high before the every session one of the things that is interesting to take a look at is where they are building their wealth. in many respects the assets they have is the only asset they would have that would be something like a vehicle as opposed to an asset like a 401k less likely to have those assets. when you talk about financial literacy and being able to connect that to what is happening in washington and happening more broadly in the financial community one of our surveys a few years ago they were unaware of the connections where the credit crisis came from and how they have impacted that. so i would agree that there are in many respects this is one
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area where focusing on financial literacy and connections might be very important. >> you are thinking about marching on washington because bill has now motivated us. and we are going to march to washington so we can change the future hell are you going to rally your votes? >> i feel like we have to do a lot of political and education. it sounds really basic and not super sexy but there is a whole so much information sharing and translation like when i talk about translation, my work for translation is translating the crazy language of this city to the rest of the folks outside the city. it's not about any language which -- [laughter] the constant work of having to translate to the best of the world i feel like we need to do that anymore the number of ways it is about the organizing and the local kind of political
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education and having a larger conversation. we keep saying we need to have a larger dialogue about it. i think that everything that happened around their particularly among young people was encouraging because i felt like there was a connected mess that we needed to tap into and the consciousness of the importance of race and all this. so it's not so sexy but organizing a will of the local education i don't think we do enough of it intentionally. >> thank you. [applause] >> i would like to conclude by making the famous quote and what about the future. i believe there are signs of change and turning the tide. america today is moving forward more rapidly and in more ways than ever before. moving forward it will build destiny in the land of free. a nation and which meter indians
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nor any of their racial or religious minority will live in an underprivileged. these are the words of robert f. kennedy 50 years ago to the national congress of american indians and he saw the bright future then and we are making progress for the future. i think that the panelists have shown us that the march isn't done. we have more work to do because we want to engage in this going forward and we want to organize and get a message forward and we want to be able to make sure we bring all of our people forward. thank you for joining in this conversation. [applause]
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>> thank you for the panel. when we structured the panel looking at the economic crisis confronting people of color, it really had all of the preconditions to be a depressing panel. but the panelists were able to go beyond to provide information so let's give them another round of applause. that was great. [applause] as we bring our third panel look to the front i would like to thank bill spriggs. he mentioned in the website about inequality and since he mentioned it i'm going to reiterate. it is www.inequality.is where you can find epi's take on how we got to where we are in this
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country. thus far we have looked at the march on washington and what it was really about and what we ought to remember 50 years ago about its importance and we talked about the economic circumstances today, which quite frankly are not all that different than the economic circumstances that precipitated the march 50 years ago. so we also heard from the last panel there are no shortages of ideas about how to move forward. so when you have got the conditions being white for change and when you've got ideas about how the change ought to over it begs the question why is changed so hard in coming? it comes from how we envision the the last panel. the politics of race in america. where do we go from here? why is it so hard for america to talk honestly about race and such a way that actually moves the dial and changes the circumstance so that hopefully
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our coleworts 50 years from now are not having another conversation that looks a lot like conversations that were held decades before. so, for this panel we've got an incredibly esteemed group of people. and i'm going to start by introducing the moderator and then the panelists. our moderator is dr. moore of global policy solutions which is a social change for strategy firm based here in the district. this position is the culmination of dr. rocky more's vast experience working on legislative policy at the congressional black caucus foundation, the vice president of research and programs and prior to that she was also the senior resident scholar of the health and income security at the national urban league and she spent time on the hill as the chief of staff for congressman charlie rangel as well as professional staff on the ways and means committee or as people in my family who like to call the iconic
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underachiever. [laughter] we are also joined on the panel on the far left we have the director of immigrant rights and racial justice at the center for community change, an organization that works to build power in the low-income community and to build their capacity for investing in change. now the extensive experience only as an advocate and the work with cce but as an organizer and a lawyer and she also served as the deputy mayor of new haven where she was able to take a lot of these policy ideas and put them into a practical application in order to conserve the underserved residents of that community. we also have angela blackwell who is the founder and ceo of an organization she started in 1999 after serving the vice president at the rockefeller foundation.
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policy linked has been advancing economic and social equity. and under angela's leadership it is the leading voice on the progressive movement to use public policy to improve access and opportunity for all communities of color and focus on health and housing, transportation, education and infrastructure. we also have roger, the immediate past president of the inside center for community and economic development. prior to joining in sight, mr. clay was the general counsel of the california housing finance agency. and in his work as a partner with the firm did a lot work on housing and community economic development bringing his skills to bear on issues that are altogether or all too often neglected by people in the
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professionally have the legal class so we are pleased to have this panel and we will now turn it over. >> thank you. our panel is are we making progress and that is a to be good question. it is heartening and painful but we are still debating the issue of race in america. 50 years after the march on washington for jobs and freedom and 150 years after the issuance of the emancipation proclamation heartening because a lot of people still believe so strongly in the promise of america and its progress they are willing to tackle the issue of race until equal per attendee and the justice becomes a reality for all people of all backgrounds. disheartening because we are still dealing with the original sin of racism and its
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manifestations in the form of racialist stereotypes, treatment and practices that make it possible for individuals to for example refer to the first african-american head of state as the food stamp president and to actively undermine the right of citizens to vote and profile law-abiding people as criminals based on the color of their skin, what they are wearing or the sound of their name. ladies and gentlemen, we are here to say that our nation is better than that. we are better than that. and there is a path forward for the quality and opportunity in this country. here today to talk about politics and promise of race in america is a very distinguished panel. these people are not only speakers on this subject, they are preeminent thinkers on the
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subject and most importantly, they are doers and they are committed to the racial equality in this nation. so, with that, you know, this week we have had a lot of talk about race and was sparked by a deep the trayvon martin verdict. the emotions are ralf so the community becomes -- raw. so why are african-american men on trial every day in this country, why are the back to the black men in peril. roger? >> i've gotten that question before and my first inclination is always to say that i don't know. but i think i do know. last week i was on an elevator in a hotel in new york and i had my coat on and a white woman got on and she looked around and saw that it was just me.
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she went over to the corner and she was a little bit uncomfortable. so why do what i usually do. i spoke to her and i commented on the weather. [laughter] which relaxed her a little bit. and i was a little surprised only in the sense that it doesn't have been to me as often once i got a gray hair as i did when i was younger. but it was great she was afraid. so the answer is people are afraid. they are afraid of us and that is a simple answer and a very complicated answer because the question is okay why are they afraid? generally this year isn't based on experience. it's not based on fact. you don't often hear or i that most of us don't even know of situations where black people are going around attacking white people. we unfortunately kill ourselves.
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but we are not going after doing that to others. they do it more to us. this fear has been a long time coming and it goes back hundreds of years people are conscious of their fear but they don't know why. it goes back hundreds of years as black men and black boys being compared to apes and people still subconsciously think of many black men and black boys that way. and unfortunately even black people have that unconscious feeling about black men and black boys. i'm hoping that the panel is
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optimistic. but on this topic i get upset. i'm not that optimistic because the fear is so deep-seeded that it's going to be hard to turn that around. >> the fear of the black man, that stereotype of the african-american male as a mess, as somebody to be feared in the society. does that mean there is a racial bias in the system packs does the fear meet our institution and whether it is a part of the guilty verdict or the not guilty verdict? >> i was hoping to be optimistic in this panel but given the question i think i'm going to be overwhelmingly pessimistic. all you have to do is look at the number we as a nation incarcerate more people than
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anybody else. we have 2.3 million people behind bars. they are either in jail or the year in prison. of the 2 million, 2.2 million people, 60% of them are people of color. right now on any given moment in given day, let's take today for example, one in ten african american men in their 30's are either in jail or in prison. and then when it comes to young black men in their 20s and 30s, without a high school diploma the incarceration rate is so high. it's 40%. and what that means is they are more likely to be behind bars than to have a job. that's only the beginning because once you've been incarcerated in the part of the criminal justice system you don't use cade but when you get out of prison. that is the beginning of or the continuation of a really
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difficult trajectory to be at once you have a criminal record it's really hard to get access or impossible to get access of public housing. it's very difficult to get student loans. nobody wants to hire you. so the trajectory just continues and i think that is part of the pessimistic - of the race and politics in this country. >> there has been a lot of narrative about the notion of the racial bias and the question of white privilege. so if we have a criminal justice system that is by yes, what does it mean for people of color becoming a majority of the nation? >> we aren't going to be able to get racial justice because the
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criminal justice system is touching a disproportionate number of lives of people of color. until we do away with it when i talk about racial justice the first thing i talked about his criminal justice because the criminal justice system touched the lives of so many people of color and communities that we will never get racial justice until we do away with this devotee from the criminal justice system. the trayvon martin case to me was part of the example of what privilege in this way, right kids walking of around with hoodies don't have to worry about getting stopped and searched and harassed. when you think of privilege, i have an 8-year-old son. i have to have conversations with him about race at an early age i had to have conversations
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with him about what it means to engage with law enforcement officers. i'm not sure they're many white parents that have to have those conversations with their kids at such an early age. .. the disparities are there because of individual racism, structural racism, systematic
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exclusion. all of those are operating and we do need to come up with policies that reverse it and it won't happen until we fund -- fundamentally change. that is why it's hard to be optimistic and i think i am. i usually am. i think i will get there by the end of this conversation. we are a nation in which many people carry ill will in their hearts. we try to move beyond that great we thought we could move beyond it. we thought if we got opportunities and place it didn't mary -- matter what people had in their hearts. you don't have to like me. you don't have to come to my home. just let me have a home. we thought we had policies in place that we could leave the hearts alone. i don't know whether that was right or wrong but i do know that people still carry a lot of ill will in their hearts and we are at a moment which is a transition.
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one thing i am optimistic about is that we are clearly moving beyond our evil passed into a time in which we will be very different. we will get there. it is inevitable. but the ground zone of getting there can be a long and dangerous. matt has the old guard is afraid , losing and the last gasp can be a dangerous time. that's exactly where we are right now. i know we are going to get there but we have got to go through this and those people who have ill in their hearts are really acting out. they didn't have to act out a couple of decades ago because they had everything. now they are feeling the threat con but they are really acting out and our friends conquer those people who are liberal and supportive have not embraced in an authentic narrative about how hard it is to be of color in
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this nation particularly how hard it is to be black. [applause] and particularly how hard it is to be a black man or boy. what that means is something needs to go down. half of us who want the same things are thinking, what is the real story about what happened? i'm sure it didn't happen exactly that way. half of the people ought to be in that yet though are raising those kinds of fundamental questions. it's hard to have a movement forward. we keep talking about having a conversation. i actually don't want to have any more conversation. [applause] what we need is an action agenda that we can all get behind and move out on. that is the conversation that we want to put a for the american people. what do you think about this agenda? what do you want to contribute to this agenda? how is this a agenda going to
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become an american agenda? i don't want to be understood. i want to have an action agenda that actually puts the things you are talking about front and center. i am optimistic that will happen but it has to happen soon. if it doesn't happen soon the ground zone is going to become a way of life for a long time. >> we have just learned a new term. but with that when you are talking about action agenda and talking about public policy and the design of public policy and eliminating racial and ethnic disparities in health and education and income security and wealth combat i mean it requires a specific approach to policy design. is that a race-neutral or a race specific approach? >> i actually think we have to put on a racial lens and bring it to the policy, and i don't think we just need to do it because it's the right thing to
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do. i think it has become an imperative trade as we think about the shifting demographics and i heard it talked about on the panel before and you probably mentioned it earlier today we know people of color are becoming the majority. we also know that it's an economic peril and our democracy is in peril. as we think about how we are going to be the thing that we have been so proud of for so long it's clear that the people who are going to be the future have to be the innovators. they have to be the leaders. they have to be the workers. they have to be the ones evaluate democracy and democratic participation. they have to be the middle class. if the people of the future aren't aren't the middle-class there will be no middle class so i think we have to bring a racial and ethnic lens not just to make up for past wrongs that to go in the right direction congo to make sure that everything we do, take infrastructure for example.
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you know the nation has a crumbling infrastructure but we also know if we do that we allow some communities that are being left behind to come right into the center combat that we allow the communities that often are holding people back to be places that place them in the 21st century. those happen to be a lot of cities in this country that are black and brown so we get people who need jobs, jobs. we get communities that aren't ready for the 21st century to be ready for the 21st century. but it doesn't work unless we bring a racial lens to it. who gets the job's? where do we put the infrastructure? who is going to benefit? i would like to see us take the rat -- racial lens for practical reasons not for grievance reasons. you get the same result but i think if we can combine the need to step up and amoral way with the imperative to step up so the nation can be strong all of a sudden we are on a path to the future that helps solve the problems.
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>> roger we have had a lot of conversations about this and i think you probably agree with angela that we have to have very race specific focus but how do you actually get rock-based support for that kind of agenda? >> i do agree with angela. but i think there are two things things -- there are a couple of things we have to tackle first. one is we really have to have some vision of what we want this country to look like. if we don't know where we are going you can end up anywhere. i don't think we have ever done that. the other thing that is related to that is who is included? one of the things about black men and black boys, we shouldn't be here or we can't be seen as productive members of society
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and i think the same thing is going on now with some of the immigrant population. they are not us and so we don't have to worry about them. we don't have to worry about them in terms of helping them do well. we do need to worry about them too -- so i think in order to have any kind of policy that is going to move us forward we have to have that platform and we have to know where we going and who is included? the other thing that i want to say though is, we shouldn't be naïve. i am very excited about the fact that the country is becoming more diverse. i'm very excited about the fact that it will become majority/minority but what does that mean? that really means that whites are not the new majority but we shouldn't act like all of our different minority groups have always worked together.
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i actually think that we are doing better and i know in working with you we are really working hard at it that has not been our history. there are many black people that don't like immigrants come for the whole idea. there are many people that don't like. we have to work at this in order to move us all forward. i think though that the change in demographics gives us an opportunity to affirmatively and very explicitly work on that level. we have got a ways to go. it's not going to get all better in 2014. >> kica we have been talking about the changing demographics that those demographics are driven by the large group of the latino population and we are certainly in the midst of a debate nationally about immigration reform. in the issue of race and the other is front and center in these conversations about
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immigration reform. how are advocates like you and the people you work for fighting the issue, on the issue or on the grounds of racial stereotyping? >> i would say a couple of things. i do think immigratiimmigrati on reform is a racial justice site. when we think about the way that immigration and the issue has been framed, it has been framed in racial justice ways. i do want to paint a picture of who is behind and again when you think about race and you think about immigration, a lot of us don't really know just how racialized immigration is. who is behind efforts to impose immigration reform so i want to quickly paint a picture. the organizations that -- most
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of the organizations that are advocating against immigration reform are funded by a man by the name of john 1010. he is a white nationalist and a eugenicist and he has funded a number of organizations including one that is fronted by african-americans. the largest organization is fair and some of the people, staff members are white supremacists. these are the people who are really driving that ugly debate around immigration reform that we are hearing and those offensive terms are put out that way to alienate immigrants so immigrants are seen as somehow inferior. in addition to the anti-immigrant organizations if you look at who in congress is opposing immigration reform again you have a very small group of legislators who are extreme right-wing republicans
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can't cut, who have never embrace people of color. be it african-americans or be it latinos. they are the ones that are really opposing, standing in the way of immigration reform. right now we have a vote in the house to pass immigration reform but this small group of people are standing up and opposing immigration reform. these are people who have absolutely no problem referring to immigrants as illegal aliens, who talk about how they are destroying the fabric of this country. some of the language is roche -- racially coded in some of it is not paid when he think about the combination of these two groups and how they collude and what it leads to a just want to quickly mention a rally that took place here last monday and i hope that none of you were there but a few were there i am hoping that you are observing for our side. it was put together by a fair and one of the groups that was there was the black leadership
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alliance which is funded by john. these are a handful of african-americans who say that they oppose immigration reform. and one of the speakers at this rally was ken crow who most of you know was one of the founders of the tea party. mr. crow gets up on the podium podium and admittedly starts talking about all of the negatives that he perceives around immigration and immigration reform and then all of a sudden he started talking about reading and well bred americans. i just want to quote directly from his speech. for those incredible bloodlines of thomas jefferson and george washington and john smith and all these great americans martin luther king these great americans who built the country you came from them and the unique thing about being from that part of the world when you learn about it you cannot read secretariat to a donkey and expect to win the kentucky
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derby. you guys have incredible dna. who was in that crowd? senator jeff sessions who leads leads -- who led the opposition for the emmett ration bill in the senate. congressman steve king who is taking up his mental and is talked about ideas like putting up electronic fences on the border because after all that is what we do with cattle and senator ted cruz. so that is what we are really dealing with at the end of the day when we are talking about race and immigration injustice. >> everyone i have talked to at least to advocate for immigration reform are optimistic despite all that. they are optimistic because of the energy of the dreamers. they are optimistic as people are coming together across race to support immigration reform. they are developing language to promote inclusion and aspirations for new americans
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and so i mean there is a certain population of members of congress and certainly the american public who have then captured by the inspiration that is being driven by the advocates. >> absolutely. what we have been immigration reform front is a movement, a movement of african-americans, latinos asians lgbt and faith-based communities. we have support from the left and we have support from the right. the majority of americans support immigration reform and we have this incredible energy from young people who have fearlessly stood out and said you know we will give up our rights and we will push the envelope and to a certain extent certainly sacrifice parts of their lives to advocate for immigration reform. that is the irony about immigration reform. the american people want it great we have a movement that
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represents a broad spectrum of the community and yet there are a handful of people who want to stand in the way of immigration reform. that is really the challenge that we have. i should say one last thing because we we are playing hardbl with the republicans that are getting in the way. we are reminding them of one thing. the changing demographics of this country, if they don't get right with immigrants and they don't get right with immigration reform they are going to be an extinct party. >> and we are going to get immigration reform. i think that is the amazing thing that people with the that kind of money you have talked about the kind of influence they can buy with that money, the place they're coming from in terms of what they want for the country. we will get immigration reform. i hope we get it this time but i know for sure we are going to get it. when you talk about roger the challenge of when we all come together, we will come together. we are coming together. i never go anyplace anymore
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where people are not working to come together. it is a rule a month to change agents, the advocates combat the social agent advocates and beyond. so yes it's going to be challenging but we are moving in that here's what we are not doing is we are not getting behind each other's agendas enough. we are not taking the few things. i was blown away by the fact that the naacp was able to get over 1 million signatures on their petition so quick you. all of a sudden all of us were able to agree on one thing it when we do that we can make a tremendous difference. the work that we need to do is to accept that power has the potential to be on our side. but whether or not we are able to utilize it requires us to come together to let a few things go and pick a few things that we are actually going to move on to do that systematically.
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i think that we have enough confidence in our ability to be able to overcome. for example, just getting the president elected a second time, tremendous forces on the other side that did everything they possibly could. young people and women and people of color and people who live in cities. they all came together and made that happen. we need to be able to sustain that and that is part of the reason we are having so much trouble. we can't sustain anything for very long. i did a radio show on the pbs station in california. maybe it was earlier this week. it's pretty early this this week congress is in its? it's monday. it was last week. they were talking about trayvon martin. it was a thoughtful conversation of one of those call-in things. the first two colors were how long are you all going to talk about this? we are so tired of this discussion.
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that was outrageous and we had a lot of comebacks. it is the american way. you have given it three days now, let's move on. we have got to stop that. >> let their son walking home with a bag of skittles walking home get shot. roger, angela just said that we need to pick a few things in order for us to come together yet when you look at all the challenges in our communities and talking about health and talking about education and income security. you are talking about wealth. you are talking about access to the franchise. you are talking a pretty darn -- and so just picking the issue of wealth disparities. people don't realize that we have a racial wealth gap in this country and so do you think we can come together around that? tell us about the racial wealth gap and what we can do.
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>> well, first of all let's just define what we mean by wealth. and it's real simple. we are talking about people's assets minus their liabilities. a few years ago maybe five or six before the recession, when you compared blacks to whites, white's head 10 times the wealth of lax and today it's less than 5%. latinos are a little better. asians are a little better but none of us are doing that well. even though white have lost a lot of wealth himself the gap has not decreased. it has increased. wealth is really important because it is really what saves people when things get bad and that is one of the things that has happened to the black community. we didn't have enough wealth when the recession hit. it helped to put your kids in school. it helps you buy a house. you need those things.
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in addition to income. so which one would i focus on? well, since this is a forum about the march and demands i find it interesting that recent research that tom shapiro did that rand eyes about what drives the wealth gap happens to fit exactly with those that we haven't done well on. >> like what? >> housing. >> that's number one. the second one is jobs. the third is related to jobs but it's the level of pay. we do not have a minimum wage that makes any sense. those correspond exactly with what the previous panel talked about. also, inheritance. what you can get from your
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family in terms of support or what is left when they pass away. those are things that we really have to change for people of color if we are going to make a big difference. you gave me two questions where i am not optimistic in the short-term. because the gap is so huge that even if we get everybody even in terms of income, that it's going to be way, way at longtime. i forgot one which is education. i don't know how i could forget education. the importance of education and that is the other one we haven't done well on and it's also one that tom shapiro mentions is one of the big drivers. if i'm going to focus, i would focus on those. those four things and that brings us to other things that support those like transportation health and other
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kinds of things. you need those to get to the floor and i would focus on those four. >> angela you do a lot of work on health and when you look at the health disparities you know that black and brown people have been left out of our health heae system with regards to less that we have been ways to access. in fact the statistic has done that all the nations uninsured black and brown people are a majority and people don't know that. latinos are actually leaving that number. and so while the affordable care act is definite right -- step in the right direction there is still unfinished business there. talk to us about the challenge of of health. >> i can and i'm going to try to talk about it in a way that makes a larger point, that perhaps can pull us together. i said that we need to be able to get on the same page. all of us who work for
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organizations have different policies that we are championing that if we can get on the same narrative page we can keep time with whatever it is we are working on back to a simple narrative and i think the simple narrative is people need good jobs. people need capabilities and we need to remove barriers that keep people from having access to opportunity. within that context we need i think everything can fit so take health. i had the honor of being the robert johnson foundation commissioned to build a healthier american. the foundation is spent a lot of time focusing on access. this commission focused not on access but health and well-being. they concluded that most poor health does not come from of access. it comes from not having enough money not having enough education and living in a place that is bad for your health. getting a job as one of the most important things you can do to improve health. when we think about the affordable care act there are a lot of opportunities to prove --
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create jobs. we need to make sure we bring a racial equity lens into that. building capabilities. we have to make sure that we really are investing in community colleges and job training programs and all the things we need for people to be ready. and we need to make sure that we are paying attention to where people live. in america where you live is a proxy for opportunity that determines everything including how long you live. tell me your zip code and i can tell you your expiration date. [laughter] and if we have think about building healthy communities it's the way we help people to live healthy lives, we don't have to say well i can't work on your issue because i'm working on health. your issue could be jobs. it could be building strong communities. it could be transportation. within a short crisp frame we cannot be pushing in the same direction. >> you know roger mentioned
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earlier that there is a lot of competition between racial and ethnic quote unquote minority groups and it -- they don't always play well in the sandbox together. yet at the national level i think we are seeing a transformation. i think certainly the inside center policy link the center for community change i think all of these organizations have been a part of coming together at the national level around many of these issues. on housing, lisa what was the name of the coalition on housing? people working towards a common goal so that has been encouraging. kica at the local level -- to be i'm smiling smiling because -- [laughter] >> it feels like the notion of coalition building, what can we do at the local level to bring people together so we can have this collective power building?
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>> i'm going to bring my remarks around my experience when i was working in government and i was deputy marry and take up the issue had been focused a lot on in these last couple of years which is immigration. the first city in a nation to issue a resident identification card to all city residents irrespective of their immigration status and part of the reason we did that was to make sure that immigrants were not only welcome to the city of new haven but they could be more civically engaged and they had an identity that they could show to law enforcement officers and other governmental agencies. at the time that we did this, it was in 2007 and the nation was embroiled in this heated debate on immigration reform. all of these white supremacists supremacists and nativists landed in new haven. one of the first things they did was that they went on a sunday to all of these african-american
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churches and they started flowering peoples windshields with all of this information. you black people should be afraid because these immigrants are going to steal your firstborn and flood your hospitals and they are going to take over your schools. we started getting calls them our friends and colleaguecolleague s in city hall employees who were at church on sunday and they came back after praying and breaking bread with their brethren to see this hateful flyers. the first thing we did was we convened a meeting of leaders in the communities and we talked about what happened and we decided new haven was not going to be a city that was going to be divided that way. around the issue of immigration there were frank discussions. before we got to progress there were questions raised by the african-american communities saying well, the is it true? should we be afraid for our
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jobs? what is going to happen to my child's education? out of that dialogue the first thing we did after that was have a press conference of all of these people and community leaders representing a broad segment of the community to say we don't accept hatred. we don't welcome these folks here and then it's interesting how communities engage because what ended up happening is that people formed coalitions and relations and started talking about issues of common interest. if you think about education and who is at the bottom is people of color. if you think about health care who is at the bottom comp its people of color. fast-forward six years, there is an organization that has come together that consists of immigrants and african-americans who get together on a regular basis to talk about issues that mutually affect them and figure out solutions and ways to move forward on that. i do think there is always an issue around which people can
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come around but you do need to have leaders in the community and you do need to have organizers who will take that spark and create some sense of community and consensus and a way to move forward. >> well, we are running short on time but i would like to ask if there are any earning questions. one are two, we will take one and i was told. any hans? yes, sir. your name? >> my name is bart and i'm with the -- and i'm going to throw a curveball. how do we get -- we are preaching to the choir here. how do we get this message through to pardon the hackneyed phrase the other 47%? [laughter] >> the choir is here but we also have the others.
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>> how do we get it across to the folks who have been -- [inaudible] >> he my name is ernest. [inaudible] we have to go back to where it all started. we have to go back to the ministers and has the congregational sunday to talk about it and the issues that are keeping a separate. then when they go back to -- their brothers and sisters to work on the issues. they are all the same vehicle. so we have to work with the church. >> i agree with you. i do know that because i have seen it come for the dialogue about the isms being able to
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take apart the problem and helping people to understand the history. the context as the president of the united states did last week trade that is very helpful. i was being provocative and trying to push us to think about talking about the solutions. that is where i think talk could be more productive. many people are ready to move but aren't feeling we are coming together enough around solutions to have the confidence to put themselves out there. i think that's the conversation we haven't been calling for and i would like to see it. >> i would like to end this panel is a very brief exercise. the title of this panel was the politics of race in america comp.are we making progress? we started off in 2008 with this question of hope and change. and so the question becomes, i want to ask you whether people of color are still waiting for progress, or whether there has been substantive measurable process, change, on each of these issues.
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roger, economic opportunity. hope or change? >> we are changing and hoping to change more. [laughter] [applause] >> angela, hope or change, health? >> change. and your one-word justification for why you think that? >> the affordable care act. [applause] >> kica hope or change config equal justice? >> change. we are not there yet. that is way why we are here, right? >> anybody? voting power, voting rights, political power? >> i'm very optimistic about that. i think the supreme court in a weird sort of way did us a favor because it made people mad. [applause] i also think president obama's
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apparatus for the last election showed that there is a way to organize and include a lot of people. and get people out to vote so i think there are a lot of specific things that can be done. i think mostly what we have to do is keep on doing what we were doing in the sense of fighting every time we see voter suppression action, we fight it. >> last word? >> change for all these reasons and i think the voting, the desire to vote, said the activity is more likely to take place. what we need is to have a sharp policy agenda that people can attach to -- their democratic participation to. >> christian, we have an optimistic panel. [applause]
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[inaudible conversations] >> that concludes our third panel. i would now like to invite to the stage the inspiration behind this project on behalf of the economic policy institutinstitut e our director of the program mr. algernon austin. the. [applause] >> hello, hello. thank you all for your participation here today. this is just one piece of our unfinished march project. y go to unfinished march.com, you will be alerted when we release assays and if we do any other activities around the unfinished march. as we have been mentioning today the march on washington for jobs and freedom has specific demands
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and we have focused on seven demands of the march. we are going to do an essay around each demand, where we were in 1963 in relation to that demand and where we are today and what if needed, what are the policy -- policies that we need today to get us there? we will be doing an essay and you can look at the back of your program and see where we found the source of these demands but we will be doing an essay on decent housing, access to public accommodations, adequate and integrated them education around the right to vote. there are a lot of recent developments there. around full employment program, around discrimination in hiring employment and around the minimum wage so if you want to keep up with the writing we are
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doing around this, ago to unfinished march.com and enter your information and you will be alerted to what we do. in addition to these demands, we felt that if the march was being organized today the issue of the incarceration rate, how to reduce the incarceration rate would also be on the civil rights agenda and also the racial wealth gap that roger clay spoke about would also be on the agenda. we will also be releasing essays on those topics. again unfinished march.com will other e2 that. so, we have raised a number of issues today and i know that people will want to continue the commerce asian, to get involved, to to obtain more information.
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and you can do that i simply contacting the organizations that have been involved with this symposium. some of which you are probably aware of and there are some due to complex and schedules that were not able to participate today. so i'm just going to list the organizations to thank them but you should also know that if you are interested in whatever topic these are organizations you can contact for more information to get educated and if they are membership organizations to join. my thanks goes to the afl-cio for hosting us and everything that they have done. [applause] also, him, and unions the united autoworkers supported us and they are also very important in
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the 63 march on washington for jobs and freedom. the naacp the center for community change the leadership conference for civil and human rights the inside center policy link, the national council of la raza, the national congress of american indians, the pew hispanic center and global policy solutions. thank you to all of those organizations for the work that they have done in supporting us. all this work, a lot of what we are doing we wouldn't be able to do without the support of the important funders and the funders that i would like to thank our the capacd foundation jules bernstein and linda have been really crucial in allowing us to do this unfinished march project so thanks to them also.
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and in conclusion i want to give a few words from the march. we have all probably heard martin luther king's i have a dream speech and dozens of times i just want to give a few paragraphs from some of the other people who spoke that day. a. philip randolph, part of his speech he said we know that we have no future in a society in which 6 million black-and-white people are unemployed and millions more live in poverty. nor is the goal of our civil rights revolution nearly this passage of civil rights legislation. yes we want all accommodations open to all citizens but those accommodations would mean little to those who cannot afford to use them. yes, we want a fair employment track this act but what good will it do if automation
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destroys the jobs of millions of workers ,-com,-com ma black and white? again full employment for black, white, everyone was central to his vision of what the march march on washington was about. walter luther, also spoke president of the united auto workers and he also spoke to that theme. the job question is crucial he said, because we will not solve education or housing or public accommodation as long as millions of americans are treated as second class economic citizens and denied jobs. and as one american i take the position, if we can have full employment and full production for the negative ends of war, then why can't we have a job for every american in the pursuit of
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peace? and so our slogan has got to be, fair employment within the framework of full employment so that every american can have a job. and i want to conclude with a little bit of the speech of matthew almond who is executive director of the national catholic conference for inter-racial justice and he also spoke at the march. some of what he said is the following. we have permitted it evil racial discrimination to remain within us too long. the united states of america is a country which produced the marshall plan helped to resurrect the spirit and economy of europe with great dedication and billions of dollars. what man can say that this great country and its democratic ideals is vital under silly and spirit calm to its sophisticated
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resources cannot bring an abrupt end to racial discrimination at home and within a decade or two and a disability under which for so long so many of our citizens have labored. we dedicate ourselves today to secure federal civil rights legislation which will guarantee every man a job based on his talent and training. we dedicate ourselves today to securing a minimum wage which will guarantee economic sufficiency to all american workers and which will guarantee a man or a bum and the resources for fido and healthy family life. i'm encumbered by uncertainty and by racial discrimination. a job for every man is a just man and becomes our motto. thank you all. [applause]
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>> the u.n. security council is get an emergency consultation this afternoon on allegations that the syrian government carried out a toxic gas attack that killed at least 100 people. during today's white house briefing deputy press secretary josh earnest responded to the reports by condemnincondemnin g the use of chemical weapons saying that the administration is looking urgently together information on the allegations by rebel forces. >> you what we think is most important for right now is there actually happens to be a united nations chemical weapons investigative team on the ground in syria. they were just granted access to the country yesterday i believe so given the reports we have seen overnight about what may or may not have taken place in syria we think it's important for that investigative team to be given access to that area.
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the assad regime when presented with evidence that chemical weapons had been used in their country has said that they are interested in a credible investigation to get to the bottom of what exactly has happened. well it's time for them to live up to that claim and if they actually are interested in getting to the bottom of the use of chemical weapons and whether or not it has occurred in syria they will allow the u.n. investigative team that is already in syria to access the site where chemical weapons may have been used. it will allow them unfettered access to eyewitnesses or even those who are affected by the weapons. it will allow them to collect physical samples without manipulation. and it will also ensure the security of that team as they do their work. so the united states will be consulting with our allies on -- and their partners on the u.n. security council about this
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because this is and should be a top priority of the united nations. >> what about the u.s. policies that would make assad feel threatened in any way and feel like you shouldn't do this again? >> this is isn't just u.s. policy but there is broad international agreement. >> what about that is frightening to him at this point? >> well i can't speak to what he may or may not find threatening. there is no doubt do we condemn in this wrong as possible terms the use of chemical weapons and you are right we been said before there was an intelligence community assessment that chemical weapons have been used and in those individuals who are responsible for safe running chemical weapons would be held accountable for the way that those chemical weapons are handled. so there are a range of consequences for the actions that have possibly taken place. >> that is what i don't understand. what are the consequences to ask how will they be held
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accountable for this and given we are having a hard time figuring that out why should they feel threatened if we take this action again? >> again it's hard for me to speak to whether or not they feel threatened that but there is a broad international feeling that the use of chemical weapons is completely unacceptable. even some people who may disagree with us on some aspects of our policy related to syria should be able to agree that the use of chemical weapons is completely unacceptable and should be able to support a robust and impartial credible investigation into reports chemical weapons may have been used. how this will affect our policy with the assad regime we will continue with national partners and the united states is the largest donor of humanitarian assistance to meet the humanitarian needs of those
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refugee populations that have been forced to flee the violence. in some cases we are talking about women and children living in terrible conditions just trying to avoid the violence. what is happening there is a terrible situation. there is work that can be done with our international partners to try to continue to pressure the assad regime. we have seen evidence and indications that the assad regime is feeling that pressure but you are right that it has not resulted in the outcome that we would light to see which is assad being completely removed from power. that is not just the preference of the united states of america. that is the will of the syrian people and that is why it's important. >> that entire briefing is available on our web site c-span.org.
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the in july congress meant amash offered an amendment that would bar the nsa from using funds to collect phone and data records from citizens not subject to an investigation. the amendment which was opposed by house leader john boehner in the white house was defeated by a vote of 205-217. this town hall held in marshall michigan is just over an hour. [applause] >> hello everyone. he is my chief of staff. he doesn't just work for me so if you have questions or concerns here in the district you can always reach ben. he is primarily in my grand rapids office my main district office. you can find that on my web site. we have a satellite office in
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battle creek so if there is something you would like to schedule or an appointment you would like to schedule contact her grand rapids office so we can make sure we have someone down here to meet with u.s. well in calhoun county. by district director is not here today but he is also a valuable resource. if you want to contact my grand rapids office to reach him please feel free to do so. he is always around except for today but for a good cause he is not here today. but, he is a great resource and he is going to help you with any number of issues. i do telephone town halls from time to time so if you would like to get on those phonecalls when i do them please let our staff now. you can talk to ben before you leave but please let us know. we do those from time to time and that gives you another way to stay in contact with me and what we do is we will have a phonecall that goes out to your house may be 6:00 or 7:00 p.m.
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and you can get on the line and ask questions. that is a convenient way for people who have the more difficult time getting out so if you know someone who can't make it out to a town hall that would like to be involved that is one way to do it. i also host an explanation of every photo i take on facebook. we voted more than 2000 times in congress and you will find an explanation of every single vote on facebook.com/justin amash. i personally explain them and it's not some staff person so you can contact me and communicate with me directly that way. you don't have to have a facebook account to see the posts. you only need a facebook account if you want to comment. you don't have to have one to actually see the posts. if you are worried about setting up a facebook account, don't worry about it. you can go to facebook.com/grep
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justin amash and see everything i posted about my vote explanations. i will talk to you very briefly here or as briefly as i can make it about the nsa. that's something i've been very involved with trying to reign in the out-of-control -- of what is going on with our surveillance programs. that is something that i have spent as you have probably seen from the news a lot of time dealing with over the past couple of months. with the nsa has been doing as has been declassified now is collecting the phone records of every single person in the united states. regardless of whether you are under suspicion of anything. so in other words the nsa has a database and they actually collect every time you call someone. they collect the call that was made and they tell you which numbers were connected, that the duration of the call and they
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keep other sorts of what they call metadata on your calls. they have been doing this for quite some time, but it was recently disclosed. and the problem of course is they are doing it without any suspicion. it doesn't matter whether you have a connection to a terrorist or not. they decided that they have the authority to just gather up everyone's data and of course this violates the fourth amendment. you can't simply go around collecting the data, the information of all americans in the united states without any suspicion. something i have been fighting against as a representative for the past couple of months and in fact a few weeks ago we had an amendment on the house floor that i offer to the department of defense of pro-patience bill, the amash amendment and 205 members of congress stood up and
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said we don't approve of the nsa collecting the phone records of every single person in the united states without any suspicion. unfortunately 217 members said they were okay with it. now, i think the tide is turning. i think things are shifting as we hear more and more things in the news about with the nsa and what the government is doing. we have heard other reports about how the nsa might be for example sharing information with the dea and the irs. so, according to reports they incidentally collect your information, inadvertently collect your information and then use that information to go after people for domestic ross occasions. and of course this violates our rule of requiring specific warrants. you can't have a system where
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the intelligence agencies whether the nsa or any age and see, collects data without a warrant and gives that domestic agency and says here you go now you can prosecute people. according to reports they are covering their tracks so that defense attorneys don't even know where the data came from. so there are a lot of shocking allegations, revelations out there in reports. one of the things i can tell you is we don't have very much oversight and government of these programs. there is a secret fisa court that interprets things like the patriot act and these fisa court opinions are not available to members of congress. so, for example the patriot act is a law related to data gathering and members of congress have a particular
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interpretation of that when they passed it. i voted no on the patriot acts to be clear when it was up for reauthorization. [applause] but those who voted yes they have a particular interpretation of what the page read act does and they have been horrified at what they have found. the patriot act is actually being interpreted as the fisa court in much more expansive ways than what they expected. and we wouldn't have known about bad if not for the recent disclosures because the court opinions that interpret the patriot act are secret and members of congress, rank-and-file members of congress don't get access to those court opinions. you will have access provided to the intelligence committees. you will have the white house with access but rank-and-file members of the congress don't have access and of course i represent people just like anyone on the intelligence committee represents people and when i'm asked to vote on
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something i deserve to have the information about the law that everyone else has. we shouldn't keep mostly congress in the dark about what they're voting on, yet that is what has happened repeatedly. i teamed up with representative john conyers on a bipartisan measure. we don't agree on a lot of things, but we do agree on this. we agree that people's rights are being violated here, but that the constitution is being violated so we teamed up on a bill called the liberty act. what the liberty act will do, and this is a bill that has 50 bipartisan co-sponsors, to about 50. it's getting more every day. it's split almost evenly between democrats and republicans so it's very bipartisan. with the liberty act would do would need to narrow the scope of the patriot act so that the government can only collect
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information that it actually pertains to a person who is the subject of an investigation. under the patriot act. and it would also provide greater access to members of congress for these fisa court opinions, so that we can oversee what's going on. right now we just don't have the access. now there are people on the intelligence committee and the white house that will tell you welcome to members of congress get re-things on this information. let me tell you how these briefings worked without revealing any of the classified details of the briefings. if you go to a briefing on say the patriot act and it's basically a one-sided affair where they tell you how the patriot act is and then they say any questions? and when they say they have the
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opportunity to ask questions about this secret program the phone records question program, even if we have the opportunity why would he ask about a? we didn't know about it. ..
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all members of congress received a classified, now declassified but they said we've received a classified document that outlined this program. the phone records collection program. the white house's white paper was released recently that actually indicates we didn't receive the document because the document in 2009 was shared with the intelligence committees and most shared it with of their members and it talked about an updated document that was released in 2011 shared with intelligence committees and a says the senate intelligence committee should let its members and it's a silent about what the
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house did. a large number of republicans in particular were elected in the 2010 election and just started in 2011. so for that large class of representatives, we never saw the document. and in fact none of us remembered seeing the document. the administration's white paper heated that we didn't see the document so i had my staff asked the committee and they admitted they didn't share the document with us so we didn't receive the information we need a lot of my colleagues particularly the ones that voted yes on the patriot act are very upset about this this is not a partisan issue and there are people on both sides of this issue of. so i know the american people are on one side of the issue. i want to open up for questions.
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i don't expect you to answer this any way that would compromise yourself but i'm curious as to whether or not for these discussions if it were not for that. >> my question is about homeland security to come out and say everybody living within 100 miles of the border and we are shown enough for all of
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michigan is included in all of florida. i don't know the reference that you're making but i've heard of the from the border issue brought up with respect to drones. is that what you are referring to? >> they can search the computers and sell phones because they have a blanket warrant. it's western michigan and wisconsin is included in that. but the border there is a border between india and michigan and the simultaneous states and not international. >> is anyone saying that is outrageous, false and insane. >> this came from homeland security. >> it applies regardless of
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where you live in the country. if you are near the border or not near the border. so, you know, if that is what anyone is alleging or claiming putative homeland security is saying that, then they are wrong. >> we have to hold them accountable. so far -- >> the legislation to get rid of the ability to have it disappeared. without a warrant indefinitely. >> the provisions would be under the national defense authorization act. >> let me ask about the senator from california but wants to redefine what the first amendment says by deciding what a journalist is and who has
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reach these rights. >> i think that is wrong to define the amendment that only protect journalists. everybody has first amendment protections and has the right to free speech whether you are a journalist or not. >> but you have to say who is a journalist and who is not a journalist. >> it is a long series of the civil rights and they do nothing about it. i trust you actually. i don't know why they've bought and paid for and the things they were doing now what am i suppose to do when they start dodging in my house? >> i can tell you that it's changing. the culture is changing because on the amendment you have the
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white house, democratic leadership, republican leadership, the intelligence community, you have all sorts of high-level officials saying do not vote for this amendment. will be a disaster if you vote for this amendment and still the democrats and half of the republicans voted for the amendment. so things are changing. but it's going to take a little bit of work. we have to get new people in there because the people that have been there for a long time are not really getting that message to the >> i'm representing the capitol area of the libertarian party and we are preparing to have a recess in november and at that event we celebrate those michiganders that have done the most in the name of liberty and of the top of our list especially because of the
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conyers amendment. there is the impact that the war on tenor has had on our personal liberties. and something that concerns me that goes even a little further is the impact on our ability to get the truth about what our government especially the six ranges are doing it again that we are now involved in addressing secret threats with secret actions, how can we be sure that when we are told there has been a victory and more important, how can you exceed the executive branch how can you know whether these are credible and whether the actions more effective? >> we have congressional oversight because while there are plenty of people in congress that are not that interested in bringing out the truth and doing what's right there are a large
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number of people in congress interested in doing what's right. i have a lot of good friends and allies alike trust on both sides of the aisle, and if we have better congressional oversight we have enough people watching it in my opinion would be willing to say something and stand up with what's right. that isn't the only part. the public needs to have confidence in what we are doing and the ability to see what is going on. and anytime we have secret falls like we do now, the public needs to know what it is. its head and from the american people in a free country. >> [inaudible] >> i don't think so in the short run. i didn't vote for him for speaker.
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i voted for idaho. but in the short run he is the speaker of the house and i will tell you that there are a lot of people that do a much worse job than john boehner. i don't want to name names, but i will tell you that one thing about the speaker whether you agree with him or not and i often disagree with him but whether you agree with him or not, he has been straightforward with us. he's been straightforward with members of congress and we know where he stands on issues. he has not, for example, told me that he's going to do something and then done something else. he stuck to his word eai may disagree on the direction that he takes that he he stuck to his word. go ahead back there. >> i arrived late on the subject
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of homeland security. >> anything you want to talk about. >> my concern is voting rights and the supreme court back to congress with the situation in south carolina with a government i.t. i need to know what is government ied. this is being done to a small black college. my second question is why haven't you supported obama's jobs bill having a situation of unemployment? >> the first question is whether what account as a government i.t.? >> that's one, but the rights of 1964 we had a 25 year we had to come back and congress had to approve us to be able to vote. >> i will take a look at that. the issue has come up briefly and there is a decision on that but it's something i would like to take a look at and of course everyone's right to vote should be protected and that is a
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critical element of our society so that is something i will take a close look at. the issue on the jobs bill, the halls republicans have passed a number of jobs bills legislation to boost the economy and of those haven't been taken up by the senator the president either so it goes both ways. we want to make sure whatever we do to help our economy is done in a way that isn't directed towards a big corporation trying to get special benefits to big corporations but look at all the people and how can we create a free economy that everyone can prosper. [inaudible]
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that the federal or the state level? >> i wouldn't support doing anything at the federal level and from my perspective is the state and local issue. >> as a michigan legislator you would support state -- >> fortunately i'm not a michigan legislator -- >> federal legislator for the seat of michigan. i'm just saying you're from michigan and you are a legislator. >> that's something i'm leaving to the state and local officials and i'm not going to comment on as a federal official. yes? >> i am concerned about obamacare. a little article in the paper that i read the letter dated and the passage from this gentleman right here. yesterday a surgeon informed me that because of my, i could qualify for the westbound bid
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but i didn't qualify for less invasive or more expensive medical treatment but required to a serious health problem. anyone over the age of 60 take note the affordable cataract is beginning to show its ugly head. the independent payment advisory board brought a death panel that will be making a decision on us and those are from the irs who we know it is pretty questionable at this time. we expect our government to keep medical costs lower on the backs of those of our most likely to need the same care. no wonder congress, the senate and the president exempted themselves from this monstrosity why is it that the president and the congress doesn't have to all law all but they make but that we have to live by, not just
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obamacare but all of them? [applause] >> everyone should be following the singles in the country. we shouldn't have a different laws for different people. i believe very firmly on that. the converse is not exempt from obamacare. congress and their staff have to go on obamacare. in fact we are booted off of our health care coming up when the new year starts and we have to go on the exchanges. >> [inaudible] >> i don't think the president has to. the problem right now is you have the white house and their staff and federal employees don't have to go onto obamacare but the members of congress and their staff because an amendment put in place before obamacare past they do have to go on to
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obamacare. to address the subsidies >> the congressman to get a subsidy and we aren't. >> there's a premium payment members of congress get which is the same the have been getting all along as our benefit from the employer wishes the government. just like any other employer might give a premium payment to words their employees. we are in an unusual situation because we are getting kicked off our employers' health care and the exchanges and the question is whether you can still get premia payments from your employer if you are kicked off the exchanges. this wouldn't happen to anyone else because no one else has actually been kicked off of their health care and exchanges. there is no change in terms of for example the premium payments
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you're getting from your employer and the congress and staff to the also, members of congress and the staff are not eligible for the tax credits and other things others might be eligible for. >> another question. do you have to pay income tax on low wages. some of this question here. hard working percipient and this bares the low-paying part-time job with no benefits. he can barely pay for his basic needs and this pertains to a lot of people. to lift his spirits, he watches a tape of congressional members down the steps on thursday
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afternoon after a three day work session that is if they are not one of a five week vacations are not the federal holiday. they have achieved the american dream of getting the full pay, a premium health care, space and office staff and traveled alone for part-time work at the capitol. surely one so blessed will think of struggling workers and vote for a job stimulus funds and support health care for the middle class working poor. but skepticism off stems. many members seeking reelection are promising good jobs and income creation and less government regulation they speak as examples for the pre-requisite are ample. but as they do little congress with speculation. now these are some of the fox
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that i thing to go through all of our mind. we are concerned about the effectiveness of congress and of the government today and the virus is bonkers. we can't trust the government. that's all i have to say that's fair and i am as skeptical of the government as you are. if you follow my work or follow my votes, you will find i have more than a healthy dose of skepticism in the government including skepticism of many of my colleagues. >> we do have confidence in the work that you do. >> thank you. go ahead.
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yes. >> is there any realistic chance the irs will be fundamentally restructured or will go to the consumption of the flat tax? >> i don't think so in the short run, no pity it not because i wouldn't want that big because there is to much pushback. they like having a complicated tax code because the more complicated the tax code, the more big corporations have to come to them and beg for favors. the more favors they can hand out the more campaign contributions they get. i think it will take some time and i support undoing of the income tax and you need the amendment to get rid of it completely and replacing it with the consumption's tax but we are
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away away from that. i fought very heavily against the state government was doing which was getting of all sorts of tax breaks and benefits and it is the same problem. the more complicated to make the tax code the more special-interest and frankly it benefits wealthy people. >> my question is about immigration reform. they said they are going to have a hard time this season because they don't have enough migrant workers. it's when to help us farmers and get immigration reform passed. you support a bill like the set to get immigration reform passed today immigration reform has to have three things. you have to have border security
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that includes dealing with the visa over state and some people come here legally and then the overstay their visas. you have to have a better immigration system so people can come here and become residents legally or to find work legally. currently it's hard to come to the united states as a guest worker or if you want to make residency here it is a very difficult thing to do. so we need to improve that system. that's where we tend to get a lot of push back from the democrats in congress. a lot of my democratic colleagues don't really want to improve the legal immigration system. there interested in providing it have to citizenship but not interested in improving the legal immigration system. the legal immigration system will help the border security because as you make it more accessible for people to come here, you are likely to have fewer people trying to cross illegally as any compromise you have to deal with of the
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11 million or 12 million people that are here illegally. nobody is going to deport them so you have to find a way to give them legal status over a long period of time. once they have obtained legal status so there is a path to legal status than they are treated like anyone else that is here as a legal resident. if they want to obtain citizenship they are not ahead of anyone else. they are treated like anyone else that came so this isn't a special path to citizenship to give no special pat citizenship. you give them the ability to be here and then they are treated like anyone else. they are not moved to the front of the line or anything like that. >> yes. question on a gun control. what is your stance blacks as a government now where are we on the gun control situation? second, the second question is
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executive orders and the president is bombarded us with. as you the congressman what type of control to you have against those orders that we put a stop to the people here have no control because we don't have a voice with you what can we do? >> the first question about gun control. i'm skeptical of the federal government in gun control. the second amendment is extremely important as any other part of the constitution. there is a reason that it is in place. you have to consider the context in which was put in place it was put in place after americans have fought in the arms revolution against their government. they want to make sure that people would be protected and always have the right to defend themselves. and so i think it is critically important that the federal government not infringe upon that right. so that's where i stand with respect to the gun control. with respect to the executive orders, some executive orders
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are okay. a lot of executive orders that have come down in the administration have not been okay. what they do is take an old law and interpret that to provide them with some authority that they interpret they have to provide some authority to do something new. when congress doesn't want to pass the new law because they don't think it's appropriate the white house says we are going to do it using the old law and interpret it. that is wrong and unconstitutional and i think we should do what we can to refund those activities. congress holds all appropriations bills have to come to the republican controlled house and we don't have to fund activities that we think are unconstitutional. i think that you are the youngest person to ask something
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at the town hall. >> i have a question about prism. on the internet a lot and -- i am on the internet a lot and when i heard about this i was really mad because the government shouldn't be signed on us and i am not even sure why anyone had a second thought on this because it is unconstitutional against. that is a great question. the prism program that we have heard about on the report is largely classified so there has been some talk about it. i have to be careful what i say. but the bottom line is there are too many people in congress
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right now that are forgetting that there is a constitution that restrict what they do. the point of the constitution is to restrict what the government does. and in the name of security they are forgetting that their first priority is to protect our liberty. that's why we have a government is to ensure that we have liberty as a people. that's what they are forgetting focus on the security aspect and they think that as long as the nsa or some other agencies stopping the bad guys they can collect information on all sorts of good people and have no consequences. we have the data to use against americans sometime in the future
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i worry about like all the the right stuff. i'm thinking this could be another reason some things where it's like the same thing but gays and non-gays and just a big fight. who really cares? does it matter? [applause] >> that's a great point. and i don't believe the government should be involved in deciding who can get married to be hiding cut is not an appropriate role for the government. it's not appropriate for government. marriage is a private institution to be its between people in their personal lives. ayman orthodox christian. my wife and i don't need the government telling us that we can get married. nobody else needs the government telling them they can get married. this is up to them. so i agree with you. [applause]
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>> i guess my main question is since congress is holding the purse strings of the country, i am interested in what's going to happen with the so-called affordable care act. what are the chances of congress calling the purse strings on matt -- that. >> they shouldn't pass the appropriations bill that funds obamacare. right now that is a debate going on and the republican members of congress who think we should fund obamacare and others who think we shouldn't. i happen to think we shouldn't. i think law is unconstitutional and it's going to hurt our
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health care. it's going to raise cost it's going to reduce the choices. the more regulations you have on the insurance industry, the more you create a monopoly in insurance where a few players control the whole market and when you really want to have as full competition. you want less regulation on insurance so that more types of insurance can be offered and so people can make decisions for their own lives about what they want to purchase. you also have to find a way to move away from the third-party payer system that we have pity if you have to incentivize and move away from that because right now what you do is buy insurance and go to the doctor's office and patients and doctors don't know how much procedure to cost and there is no incentive people have right now to keep the cost down. because as you know, everything is covered by insurance you will just take it so there and said the being and over use issue with a lot of medical care.
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>> myett fais to people back before the government got involved in this was the fact you go to the hospital or the doctor you have the insurance pay you and then you pay the medical expenses out of your pocket and they always have a little bit to pay of their own. as a young man, two of my kids were born without insurance. i payments and i paid the whole thing. of course back then it was only $250. but anyway, the affordable care act i'm going to have
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bureaucrats telling me what kind of services i'm going to qualify for. >> and what kind of insurance you can get, too. >> i can imagine what the price is going to be. i got medicare right now but they took $750 billion out of it to put in the affordable care act. what is that going to do to my coverage? to be honest with you, i am scared to death. >> a lot of people are worried about this. i held a number of telephone town halls that is the number one issue that comes up. people concerned about obamacare as i said i think it is a train wreck i don't think it is going to work and we have to move to a system that is more free market oriented and the system that allows people to make choices for their own ys and where the price is actually mean
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something. >> [inaudible] everyone of them so far will have benefited in some manner through preventive services and other screenings they wouldn't have had before. their grand children are able to be on their parents' insurance that was never there before i am concerned when congress can work together and why can't republicans and democrats fix this. the affordable care act has a lot of good things in it. it's not great. don't spend 40 times trying to vote it down. you are wasting their resources. 28,500 seniors in the colony that are over 60. the all anxious about it because
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of all of the information from both sides actually. but help fix it. don't try to get rid of it. the republicans try to stop the social security, medicare, medicaid and other things in the year that were in the line that were similar to this. the affordable care act was based upon massachusetts. governor romney helped develop the model. it's not all bad. don't try to throw it all out. there are a number of good things that are in it. fix it. [inaudible] [applause] >> you will get some annual screenings and find out that it's not going to mess you up if you are not on medicare. it's not going to be messed up by it. we have a health system with all
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the hospitals by teeing each other out because there is a system that we have already. that is what is making it so expensive to go to the hospital. >> let's be respectful please. let's all be respectful please. the problem you can't lower the cost of health care by mandating that everyone get on insurance that's regulated by the government. you can't do it. you can't over regulate that everyone gets on that and expect prices to go down. it's not going to go down. i've heard from republicans and democrats who are very concerned about it. savitt isn't just one-sided. it's important to remember when we talk about working together that obamacare was passed with a one-party passing it.
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one of the past it over the other. you are never going to have any sort of reform that is acceptable to the public when one party decides that they are going to pass it and the other party completely objective. i think that is a serious flaw in the way that was passed and whether its immigration reform our health care reform, you have to have some kind of an agreement between the parties on these issues. the head. >> i have written to you and commend you for doing these town halls and from other states you get the chance and i did, and i've also corresponded with you before. i have two questions, and one is if you have been in jail for a dui does that take away your voting rights for life? >> i don't think so.
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if you've been in jail for a dui, no. that doesn't take away your voting rights. >> what if he was in another state and he has now moved to michigan to be i have a friend who doesn't even think he can come here. >> you can ask someone on my staff. >> my next question -- >> i have one more question. >> [inaudible] >> you have an answer? >> if you are not incarcerated as a felon [inaudible] you may go once you are out of incarceration. >> if you have obtained a ccw in
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michigan and plan to drive to another state, well all of the states along the way -- [inaudible] >> then you can get in trouble. >> that's not, in that case i wouldn't recommend taking that trip with you. >> i know someone that did that and it went to jail because of its. >> i'm very concerned about something that has been passed all across the land that affects all of our children. it hasn't come through the legislature. it's come from the state department of education and it's from the u.s. department of education arne duncan and it's a federal takeover of our education including all of the
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children. not just public school children but it involves private schools, home school children and it's called a common core. i am very concerned about it. the data collection and all of our children putting them into the national data bank with a lot of private come extremely private information with 415 items on every child. and it's not only collecting these data banks, but they are breaking free federal walls and the are going against the tenth amendment that says the states are to be in control of education. the states and local control putting it and also the changed the family rights and privacy law so they can collect all of this information. the purpose is to dumb down the
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children and to indoctrinate them with the left ideology so they will accept a left-wing idea of our government country and the country's history. it's dunning them down and teachers and parents that do know about it are very concerned. i talked to a teacher last night at the county fair. very, very upset with most parents don't even know about it because they had sneak it through going to the state department of education and they are the ones that assigned us on to the consortium that we are part of. it is a line that we never passed before because it takes away any say from anybody within the state because it has been given control to the consortium
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and there is nobody to go to if we don't like it or if we want to change it. but i think that arne duncan -- the need to be some hearings on him and his activities and i just learned yesterday that our foundation has given $400,000 to the state department of education so that they can form the the information on all of the preschoolers. >> i am against common core. [applause] i don't want the federal government telling our school what to do. i think that's a very bad idea. teachers don't like it. it's not good for students be the education should be something that's handled locally. you should have states competing to have the best system rather than having one standard that
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creates problems for the whole country. i'm against common core and i think that we should return the country to the local families and governments. >> i don't know the standards are so i cannot comment on that. >> i've learned that information. thank you. >> they have thousands of people doing things that were illegal like for instance recruiting non-eligible voters to vote and they were being voted by the federal taxpayers' money. these people stopped lending from congress.
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a great. okay. now a great number of these people went to other organizations doing the same thing. are they being funded by federal money? that's the question. >> i don't know. i haven't voted for any of those appropriations bills. the appropriations bill i voted for was veterans affairs. but the other appropriations bills i haven't voted for because they haven't cut funding on the 17 trillion-dollar debt. i can't tell you the details of every bill when i haven't supported it. >> there are other organizations that people have gathered to get anyway, one other thing here back in the past year i heard the president say everyone should bode. i don't want anybody to have to show legal ied to vote. they should vote. i understand that was even an
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executive order. but just because you are here, these people are voting they are not even here legally and not even the citizens the people here with a green card are here illegally but they are not a citizen. i don't think they can vote but they were voting. that's what i read in the paper. >> only citizens should vote. i don't know how to address the issue other than that other than to say people who are legal voters citizens should vote. i haven't called on anyone have i? let me go to someone first. >> when we were talking about obamacare you made a comment i heard from many representatives and some senators that have been
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reported your comment was we need more competition in the system as opposed to more regulation. the problem is i've never heard anybody explain who is competing against two. as a patient i am the end user in the system. i can't shop for quality or price. i can't call five doctors to find out who's going to give me the cheapest operation on my arm and fallujah hospitals to find out which ones are going to charge me so much for the st shaara. so when you talk about competition, the typical capitalistic model doesn't seem to apply. so who is going to compete? then we are going to turn everything over to the insurance companies. why would we want to trust insurance companies to run of the entire medical system?
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>> that's not true and also you were just in the government to run the system which is far more dangerous and monopolistic. >> but we don't have doctors -- we don't have doctors being employed by the government like they do in some countries. most hospitals are private obligations. it may not be for profit but they are private obligations. if you don't have any regulations of all, how would you achieve inequality under the system. >> to achieve quality in all areas of competition. that's how you achieve quality. >> that's all i'm saying. >> if there is less regulation you can have more competition. the more regulation you have on any industry the less competition you have. in fact is a state legislator and as a member of congress, the people who come to me and ask for regulation the most part big corporations. they are constantly in the office saying we want regulations put in place and the
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reason they want regulation is because they want to limit competition. they want to drive out small competitors that have fewer employees and don't have the ability to manage the regulations that have been put in place. they can then monopolize the market, raise prices and have fewer choices out there. if you have the government telling you that an insurance has to have 100 different items and in order to be sold, you will have the prices go up. that is the only way that it works. you have to allow the insurance companies to offer all sorts of products. some cheap products, expensive and let people decide how they are going to spend their money. stat but that's what they used to do. before obamacare we have a system. we have a system with tremendous increases in costs every year because it was being run by the insurance industry. >> we have never had a system where we have had the type of the freedom to choose and the freedom to sell your products, insurance product that is required. we have in the recent decades
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this type of system that is required to have -- >> what you are saying is the insurance companies are going to tell hospitals and doctors through their competitive programs held much can be charged and that will lower the prices. >> if they are out to compete with each other you will have better insurance companies to offer better products at a lower price. >> and the doctors and hospitals will accept the cut in their pay and accept the drop in their cost? >> you have to have a competitive market one way or the other. >> the patient can do it. >> in the interest of time [inaudible] >> we will probably take a few more questions. [inaudible] get to as many as we can. >> i've already called on you, right? let me go back there.
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>> representative, as one of your constituents and somebody devotee before you i would like to say that i am very pleased with what have performed in congress. i would like to say that about the gop leadership. but unfortunately, i can't my biggest issue at this point, so many of them is a and obamacare and the upcoming vote to fund it or not to fund its. listening to the national discourse, it appears the republicans are divided as to whether or not they will of fund or defund and then dealing with
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it piecemeal at a later time. >> the voted to fund is probably the most important and critical of them all. the big issue is will you shut down the federal government? already the republicans are being blamed that if they do not fund it they are going to shut down the u.s. government. i would like my voice to be heard that i think you should defund. if the federal government gets to shut down, it isn't going to be the republicans. it's going to be the president and the united states. [applause] the gop leadership needs to
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understand that sometimes the best defense is a good offense. [applause] >> as i said i support defunding it. go ahead. >> first off in the interest of obamacare, no idea ever had to be mandated. >> also, i was just wondering if i would be able to vote for the seat. >> i can't talk about campaign issues of the town hall. >> let me go in the back. yes. >> any topic you want.
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>> we had to go to two different hospitals. be in that setting and the waiting room watching the entire movie of cars before they helped us. i'm sitting here watching my son screaming and lead because he was a bit by a dog. i'm in a situation i want to buy a book and do my own stitches so why don't have to deal with it. [laughter] at what point do we just abolish the federal government? [applause] the federal government has an important role and you have to follow the constitution says. there are enumerated powers for congress in the constitution and most of those relate to national defense. that's what the government should be focused on is national defence. >> shouldn't we get a new one?
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[laughter] >> they haven't done a good job following the constitution when it comes to national defense. but that is one of -- that is covered in several of enumerated powers in the national defence. that should be the priority of the national defence. >> [inaudible] [laughter] >> my name is with max and i would like to bring up the giglio engineering. currently we are having particles spread through the atmosphere. primarily i believe aluminum oxide. if you go out on the internet and study what aluminum oxide poisoning was coming you'll find diseases like alzheimer's, a
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nerve diseases, asthma and things like that. there is so much of that going on i just have to think that we are being poisoned rather than having all these degenerative diseases happen to us because we are living. there's actually something going on there. is there a question to it? >> final yesterday over battle creek i could have played tic-tac-toe on the sky because there were crosshatches going every different way you could sit there and you could watch the materials spread out on the clouds and was supposed to be a cloudy day yesterday and it almost looked like it was going to pour down rain before it was all over. but from personal experience
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within five minutes of putting a mask on my lungs stop the burning. i don't know who is deciding the best. it's like we don't have any control over anything whether we can breathe air or eat food or any of that kind of thing. so why don't know. >> i like to ride around with my windows open. i started writing with my air conditioning. >> people shouldn't pollute the environment without consequences a go ahead. >> it is a key region in the area. how concerned are you about egypt right now and defunding ag
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to the area? >> i'm concerned about the foreign policy. it's been disastrous with respect to the middle east. the government has been spending money to the countries that are actively against us or where there is a total instability and we don't even know who the money or the weapons are going to whether it is egypt or syria. i think we have to stop meddling in those places. when it comes to places that are facing these types of civil war we need to be careful to mind our own business before we get ourselves into something that we don't want to get ourselves into >> i want to talk about the national debt because that is the armageddon that is coming down the road to i heard you quote $17 trillion but it's really $70 trillion because when you look at the budget, there
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are budget proposals that go in the center of that is all of the unfunded mandates that aren't in the new map the too to create the deficit and cutting social security, medicare and others along the $35 trillion so we are looking at $70 trillion we have had $85 billion a month and we are looking at the rate now increasing to 2.8%. as it increases, so does our payment on the national debt. so what is our plan for the national debt? how are we going to get our sovereignty that? because when you are down in indiana, i traveled a lot and the poll is owned by the arabs. most of the garage in chicago is owned by foreign companies or countries. so what are we doing there? >> the government hasn't had a plan to deal with the national debt. they've basically ignored it and
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it's both parties that have ignored it. i have put together business cycle balanced budget amendment and what they would do is require the spending levels be no higher than the average tax revenues of the previous three years. and it has a smoothing effect because you use an average and because of the nice way in which would work, i've had republicans and democrats sign on to it and it has the most democratic co-sponsors of any new balanced budget amendment in the recent years. it is a new type of proposal with works by using averages. i think that we need to put something like that in the place to force congress to get together and work on this issue because then you have democrats who don't want to deal with social security, medicare or medicaid reform. but those are three of the four largest areas of government and you have republicans who often don't want to deal with military spending reform which is another large area of government cut the
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second largest area of government and the fact that. national defence should be the number-one priority to the country and it doesn't mean that there is no waste in the pentagon. there's plenty of waste. ..
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quietly caught selling off the assets of the united states to the highest bidder. i'm really concerned about that what we have a lot of foreign interests at home. >> i think the bigger problem is with the better reserve does. >> how come the administration and the federal reserve work hand-in-hand instead of independently, like they're
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supposed to. >> has a good question. they seem to be working together instead of working independently, but the federal reserve itself as a problem. we have -- we have a system where basically one person can decide the money supply for the world. that's a problem. shall we wrap it up? all right. i wanted thank you for being here today. we will wrap it up there, but appreciated. we will hold more of these tunnels. please stay in touch. thanks. [applause]
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[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] >> c-span brings you white house coverage this friday when we take you to a new hampshire. texas senator delivering the keynote at a fund-raising event hosted by the new hampshire republican party. the senator has reportedly considered a presidential run and will be introduced by new hampshire senator.
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then live friday at 7:00 p.m. eastern over on c-span. >> over at the white house president obama has no public events today. he prepares for a 2-day bus trip through upstate new york and pennsylvania beginning tomorrow. the president will talk about ideas to help make college education more affordable for the middle-class. scheduled stops at the state university of new york and buffalo and the haskell in syracuse. on friday, the president participates in that town hall style events. the stop at a college in scranton, pennsylvania. you can check our website, c-span.org, for more information on coverage *. as we approach the 50th anniversary of the march on washington and martin luther king jr. i have a dream speech, hosting a discussion this afternoon on civil rights
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economic inequality and the relevance of dr. king's vision today live at 6:00 p.m. eastern here on c-span2. and tonight, book tv and primetime continues, beginning in 8:00 eastern. novel of the siege of vicksburg. >> former u.s. commander in afghanistan, stanley mcchrystal, sat down earlier this summer with former pakistan the ambassador to the u.s., hussain haqqani, to discuss what lies ahead for pakistan when the u.s.
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withdraws forces from afghanistan next year. this discussion from the annual aspin ideas festival was moderated by "washington post" columnist david ignatius. this is an hour. [applause] >> thank you. somebody said to me once, the only time you really tell the truth is in your novels. so i am afraid. this is a fascinating opportunity for me as a journalist to follows facts and to talk to relieve the two people i would most like to quiz on where the country is going. so i'm really grateful for the opportunity to do that. i want to start with, and a sense, the fundamental question that makes all of us cared deeply and anxiously about pakistan. i summon up with a phrase that many americans use, this is potentially the most dangerous country on earth in terms of the potential risk of nuclear
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weapons getting out, of absolutely catastrophic events. of what to ask you to start, and we will get more detailed questions later, but i would ask you, general stanley mcchrystal, to start saying first, do you think that assessment of pakistan is correct? second, how, over time, would use the u.s. policy toward reducing the danger? what would a relationship with pakistan ten years from now looks like where we would not say that? >> thanks, david. and thank you for letting me be here. i had grown up when i was a young officer reading david's novels. i took great comfort in the fact that we actually went into the real world it could not be that hard. the understated it. i think the question whether pakistan is maybe the most
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dangerous place for the world, the answer is yes in my view, at least right now. but it is not all pakistans fault. a series of bad decisions. part of it is geography and part of it is history. if you look at the location, a back to the days of the great king. post 1946 off -- post 1947 as an independent nation, the relationship with india has been difficult, but its neighbors are not particularly easy to be around either. afghanistan, iran. then there are a number of underlying problems that are there no matter what. economic problems, problems with water, problems with electricity that can be fixed, but they still are difficult problems. the would be for any government in any country. there are new problems, and internal set of insurgencies. there are more than one. the existence of al qaeda there which has brought all the tension, but there is an insurgency, the pakistan the
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taliban, and internal political challenges that pakistan faces sitting at this critical position with about 180 million people. the nexus between obviously india and then much of the rest of the region. so i think that -- and then, of course to you turn it clear weapons on top of it. even if the technical weapons away my answer would probably still be yes. what we need to do is make sure we look at all the factors. it's like a complex system or a complex equation that i could never solve. too many variables. if you try to grab one and said the problem is the army, the problem is it al qaeda, way oversimplified. i think that as we go forward as americans, today this point, what we need to do is deal with pakistan in a very complex way. one of the things they used the disappoint me, we would go in 2004-5 to deal with the president and we would go in with talking points the said al
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qaeda, al qaeda, al qaeda. that is the big problem. and pakistan each, we deal with them on the side. very close friends of mine. we have a bunch of problems. al qaeda is about number ten. help us with all of them so we can help you with that one. >> let me turn to ambassador hussain haqqani. let me ask you first, when you hear americans say, as they so often do, this is the most dangerous country on earth, what do you think of the pakistan is? do you share that evaluation? i would ask you -- and may be general stanley mcchrystal can come back in. it is sometimes said that pakistan nuclear weapons are under much better command-and-control than americans realize and that we should ratchet back our anxiety a little bit, this is a better control system and structure than we think.
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>> in answer to your first question, yes, i do believe that pakistan is a dangerous state. my second part of that answer is not for the reasons the americans think it is. the americans don't understand pakistan. general mcchrystal and many other generals, in fact, american diplomats go to pakistan and hear one side. and they sometimes police officials. america must help us solve our problems. it's not america's problem. pakistan's problem. and why is pakistan a problem? here is the reason, a country that was created with very little pride, discussion, and analysis. people forget, there's been an easy for 5,000 years, iran for several centuries or for millennia. pakistan is only 66 years old. so it has essentially a lot more
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than it has actual threats and challenges. india, for example. i understand that the pakistanis are concerned, but i like a history. i know that the american relationship to history is very unusual. the only country in the world where when somebody says that's history, he means that's irrelevant. [laughter] but -- [laughter] but in case it is important to understand. yes, india has never philosophically accepted the idea of pakistan, but it has not been responsible for initiating any of the wars in pakistan. let's be real about that. afghanistan is too weak and too poor to attack pakistan, most of the problems that pakistan sees itself and this psychological rather than real. the real problems are, we have not only 180 million people, 210 million according to this morning's estimates based on the population growth.
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highest population growth rate in that region. half the population is below the age of 21. one-third will never see the inside of any school. they won't even go. one-third. one-third of the population lives below the poverty line. another one-third lives just above it. and yet the country has nuclear weapons. and i am the only pakistan who has had the guts, and my opinion, to say that the nuclear revolution has finally made a secure about india. mutually assured destruction. well, guess what? we are now like the guy who keeps buying guns to try and protect himself and then say, oh, gosh. i can't sleep because i was afraid someone would steal my gun. now they have created this new cycle. it will come intakes are nukes
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away. a failure to come to terms with its geography, its history and with having a direction for it as a nation. before she was assassinated there was a new vision for pakistan, and it was we would focus inward come up with the kids in school, keep the nukes and eventually signed up with some kind of international agreement that would make sure that we are not looked upon as a pariah. we will join globalization. and if american aid is available, we will use it, like korea or taiwan did. we are not going to live as an insecure nation because that insecurity then makes people think al qaeda, well, how can we use them against our enemy, india, instead of considering in the enemy. that is why we have these into related problems. yes, american sometimes don't really get.
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>> i was sorry before. now i'm really worried. you and ambassador hussain haqqani just described up country with a deep psychosis about itself that has nuclear weapons. general mcchrystal, the question that the generation of american policy-makers had been asking is, how do we talk to a country that has this kind of psychosis, this anxiety about its relationship with america, relationship with india. so many different ways. admiral mullen tried kind of embracing. making friends forever. bowen heart. that ended the blowing up. other kind of tough talk approaches have been tried. you watch all the last decade. what do you come out thinking is the right way for the united states to address what the
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ambassador rightly said? >> let me talk about national service. [laughter] >> no. >> this is great. here is what i don't think we should do. i think that we have engaged with pakistan in a spasmodic way. what happens is 1971, we have a relationship earlier during the cold war because the geography and the fact that they were essentially on our side made them very good partners there. when henry kissinger was to go into china there were useful to help him get into china secretly. then we pulled back whenever we got something else to do or encounter frustration. and so when we go back and each time we go back in with a fairly narrow temporal set of objectives. and we tried to engage on that without understanding or trying to build a better relationship.
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after that pakistan is went public in nuclear sub the interaction between militaries. so there was a decade when the pakistan military leaders did not come to the united states for training. how big a deal is that? would go to pakistan when i dealt with the leaders. the iranian. those who have engaged with the americans had one view and comfort level. then it was a whole group that had just incredible suspicions and frustration. i don't believe that what we should do is immediately put our arms around them and say whatever you do is find, nor do i believe we should recoil and say because you are dangerous and frustrating how are we to not -- our way is to not deal with you is to ignore you. you take your hands of whoever is there. so i think a longer term, more consistent, very realistic, we
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can solve the problem. we are apart, and enabling. sometimes we can be the confidence to look to them. >> and i'm remembering when you were ambassador it seemed like pakistan was on the front page every day. part of that was you had a kind of live wire, very high visibility pakistan's ambassador in washington. >> me. >> well, i want you to talk about that. my question really is, as we think about a stable, enduring, less dangerous, less neurotic u.s.-pakistan relationship, is turning the heat down a good idea? if you had to do it again would you turn the heat down, be more remote from the pakistan a and
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u.s. news media? what do you think about the right way to play that role of ambassador? >> first of all, i think i did not do anything wrong. pakistan and american concerns about pakistan have to be put out there. what we need is an honest discussion. for example, pakistan these have a legitimate question. says asthmatic. pakistan is have a legitimate question. they say, you know, you sometimes give us promises that you do not keep. on the nuclear question, the reagan administration turned a blind eye deliberately. and then at the end when pakistan as send that by not meant we could go ahead with it, they posed -- imposed all the sanctions. the administration's allow congress to regulate the relationship than being up front. wire you doing this?
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the kind of finesse things with them. went afghanistan is over the congressional legislation had to be implemented. but then there are some honest answers. not making a bomb. by the way, we just tested a bomb we are not making. we can't say, i've never heard of them and then have him found in pakistan. and i think what we need is more candor in the relationship. i think we did not sit well. keeping this relationship in the role of shadows, military to military relationship. more functional relations it rather than an understanding of what our real about. pakistan is the second-largest recipient of american aid since
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1947. what does pakistan have to show for it? the coriente build an economy. they open their economy. pakistan and american officials need to say this. every american general is to say, you know what, the reason is not because the american government stop them. what is right is you have not created the enabling enrollment for them to come. you open up, become less and secured in your way of thinking, and you will reap the benefits. and that candor has been missing because of the need-based relationship. we need them for a sort of having bases. ironically that pakistan is never gave them. they just give you one cia base. and the big bases that the american military had been hoping for, you never got them. you never get that thing you're going after.
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the big picture actually despoiled. >> general mcchrystal, we do now have a moment where the page has been turned in pakistan. we have a new government under the prime minister, which has a whole new set of personalities. a new party, a new way of looking at the u.s.-pakistan relationship. some new ideas about india. and i would be interested in your first sense as the pakistan a leader. i will ask the ambassador the same thing. then your thoughts about where this particular opportunity is in this next time in terms of the u.s. >> i do think we are at a pretty important inflection point, driven by a number of circumstances, to include the recent election which was the first election in pakistan the history from a civilian government. they've never been able to complete the before.
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so being able to start a tradition of civilian leaders is critical. pakistan, and my view, cannot continue with on-again off-again military taking over the country i think it is an important inflection point and if the role of the military can be shaped into something more appropriate, the pakistan military became viewed by many pakistan is with great respect within the military as the essential organization. we think of george washington, the essential man. the pakistan military internally used itself as the essential bull work of pakistan's sovereignty, pakistan the pride, pakistan freedom. there is much less talk regard for the effectiveness of civilian government then we would like in a good balance. part of that is because pakistan a civilian government has not been impressive. now i think there is an opportunity to potentially, like
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turkey or other leaders, to reshape that balance a bit. he is going to have to do it, not just by controlling the military. i believe -- and that may have a different view. when i deal with the general or other military leaders, i don't see a bunch of duplicitous, this honorable people. as the patriots to see the world through their lands and they're trying to do what is right for their country. it might be different than one might be viewed by others, but it's pretty genuine. he's going to have to shape that in a way that brings those two into better connection. now, the question, i don't know what he's doing. i don't know impersonally. when i was spending time in pakistan he was not in a position to be around. but were asking an awful lot of a guy who has a questionable background.
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>> so ambassador haqqani, one great thing is he knows everybody. the chances are he worked for them at one time in the past. so i want to ask you, you know a lot. what fox would you offer about how he can develop , make it work and in particular, what advice would you have about how to deal with the problem general mcchrystal said? how does he speak to the chief of army staff or his successor and make clear this military is not going to call the shots now. we have a civilian government. how can he do that? >> first of all, we must understand that american generals look at pakistan and see soldiers. pakistan needs, especially those who have been imprisoned for look at them as politicians in
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uniform. a different perspective. he has to move very carefully. on the one hand, he wants to establish civilian supremacy. he was a lot slower on that front. two steps forward, two and a half steps backward sometimes. he understood that the military does have -- for example, there run businesses. usually the american military does not. they have influence over media. the american military is not. and -- [laughter] >> next week. >> and so the pakistan military, the parliament and parliamentarians and politicians. the national interest. the american military, part of the process of defining american national interest, but they're part of that process as well. the politicians and media. in pakistan the military wants to monopolize the definition of
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national interest which is my problem. other than that there very decent people. so generals to think that they can actually determine national interests are going to be the biggest problem. the problem is going to start very soon. as he tries to start the trial which is not necessarily a priority and should not have been, but he was too. when he does that he will run into some problems. so he has to move carefully on that front. >> why did he do that? that is a sort of classic revenge play. the man who kicked me out. i'm going to go after ana put him on trial. what did he do that? >> i work them. and when i did not agree with them he had. many got a chance he tried to get even with me.
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he is a provincial politician who became national just because there was no alternative. the pakistan military, the supreme court. they don't let that case be decided. but the fact is that he ran for office in 1990. that is like the presidential candidate in the united states running for office the cia funding. you would never let that happen, or at least -- >> not easily. [laughter] >> and so this guy was the military -- the military propped him up and anyone to secure a priority from the military which made the two rivals. so i think he is doing that. i think it is a mistake. his priority should be solving the internal problems, the economy, the educational system, scaling down the hatred that the learn from schools, hatred
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against jews, and use. india, there is no such thing. they're out there. lasting, longer, but nations change their perception. they might have been a time when the mexican and americans refining. but now the figuring out how to -- how to have more mexicans work in america. that's all the world moves. and so this view that some of india will always be our enemy is the wrong one. we need to open up on that. those are the things they should be focused on, rather than settling scores. >> a quick question to both of you. associated with the idea of opening his famous diplomatic opening. so a lot of people thought that is the area where you might see really significant movement in the relationship between india. and already it's better than
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most americans realize. what do you think about that? is there an opportunity to quickly try and do something? >> my quick answer to that is there is a lot that can be done. what was most needed is narrative change. as long as the narrative is that these guys never wanted us to be a country, and existential annamese, there won't be a move forward. but back. if you remember, he opened up to india in a big way in the beginning. and the way it works, rumors start floating, conspiracy theories. i mean, it's hard. the overwhelming majority, to this day, and opinion polls, do not accept the official version of what happened. there are conspiracy theorists' the believe that such a relevant was an inside job. there are people who don't believe the americans actually killed bin laden.
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fifteen, 20 percent of conspiracy terrorists in this country as well. i'm talking about numbers, 60, 70%. that needs to be changed. .. between the two countries. i don't think you first convince
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somebody to like somebody else and then they are going to hang around. i think you force them to deal with them and then i think you change attitude. >> i want to change gears just a little bit and i want to ask general mcchrystal to step back to the time that he was the isaf commander in kabul in 2009. as we know general mcchrystal put together a comprehensive strategy that we call the claim counter intelligence strategy for dealing with the taliban insurgency and stabilizing the afghanistan. and part of what drove the policy was if we could get afghanistan right we would stabilize pakistan as well. and i would like to ask you, general mcchrystal, to look back at that honestly and critically. we have for years of experience with that strategy and i think
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that we would be interested in your evaluation of what went the way that you thought it would and as you look back what would you do differently blacks obviously where do you think we are now as we head to 2014 and the departure of the american combat troops from that country and afghanistan flying on its own? >> first on the counter insurgency strategy. i had been in afghanistan every year from 2001 and on and the commanding special operating forces going after al qaeda. before i took over in 2009 and i spend most of my time in iraq i had come to the conclusion from the experience in the years in afghanistan that the only way to be successful was not just to be any focused because the russians kill 1.2 million afghans and that didn't work so i became convinced that we had to get something that won the confidence and the support of
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the afghan people. i studied it for years but it was proven right in front of my eyes and iraq. i came in the summer of 2009 and the psychological situation in afghanistan was devastating. philosophically we had been there for eight years and the huge expectations which many afghans had that we were going to help sort things out some of the more realistic but the reality is the west had been able to do wasn't effective in what the afghans had done for themselves wasn't as effective so by 2009 they had grown cynical. they were losing hope and the taliban were leveraging back to say look this isn't going to work and we are about to be back. the taliban were not popular -- they are still not -- but the weak sense of government and other institutions, the police and military, gave a sense of gloom and doom. when i took over in the summer of 2009 we had to do several things. first we had to change or
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strategies we could implement counter insurgency. we could start getting the support of the people come actually protecting them. everything else to them as irrelevant. we needed to change people's confidence. we needed to start making people believe that we could and we should pull this off. but the great question for me was do we have enough time? america was already tired of it, our allies were tired of it. pakistan had grown convinced that we were likely to fail in the region. so we were trying to do this against a wall of skepticism. and so as i dealt with the afghans it was the case could we get people to believe? that's the question you've got to believe. we had to first prove that we could do things on the ground in certain areas and we had to try to engage people, particularly people like the pakistan-based said less than, we can do this. it's in your interest that we succeed because the taliban run afghanistan is the worst possible outcome for pakistan stability.
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i don't think any of the was wrong. i still believe that that assessment was absolutely accurate. what do we do? we went and we pushed. i spent a lot of time with the leaders to try to get them to believe i think i had them moving to where they believe we had a chance to be successful but in the one on one moment he looked at me and leave out his strategy in the lead of mine and this is what i'm trying to do. i think it's right but i don't have enough time. the only thing we are going to do. what other option who did i have accepted i had been given the mission. where did i think it fell short? i think a heck of a lot succeeded. i think afghanistan is a much better place than a lot of people think. they can solve their other problems with the problem is
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credibility in politics and they have to do that themselves. we can't do that. but we did make some mistakes. i made some mistakes. as we pushed forward, the american people and others like quick success. so if you come in and say you've got to believe i get a call the next day that says did you do it yet? you just have to believe i can do it. not that it's done. but so there was an expectation that if it didn't have an quickly that it wasn't going to work and that is one of the weaknesses in the way that we sort of look at things. that was a problem. we also -- i personally didn't navigate very well. as we went and asked for additional forces i didn't want additional forces. i didn't want them. we did a big assessment and we played it and all kind of computer games and everything and we've laid it down so the only way you can pull this off as you have to have enough additional foreign forces to be a bridge force until you can
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build up the afghan military. there is no other way. and so i knew going for additional forces wasn't going to make me mr. popular, but it did that. and as we did that, that was very difficult time in 2009 as you know in the administration all kind of reasons. it wasn't a popular war. we pushed that through but we were successful in making that argument and i think there were already people who were skeptical about here we go again. we are going to have another iraq and vietnam. so i don't think that we've worked as convincing to all of the other constituency and supporters as we needed to be. so i think that -- i think it has a great chance right now. unfortunately, i am still an absolute believer. >> i want to turn to say i just want to push back on one thing which i think many people like
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me visit afghanistan often in this period would say to you which is it was a way in which you were building on quicksand because of the corruption and the incompetence of the government. building on quicksand is not a viable strategy. and how did you respond to that? >> my favorite movie is monty python and the holy grail. the castle burned down and we look at the seventh castle and stayed. i guess what i would respond to you as i had a choice what it was you couldn't fix every problem at once. we were trying to fix corruption and government but we didn't have a lot of time. so i thought we had to do is first convince the afghan people at was going to better, provide enough security to
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convince people it is different this time. i knew that we were on quicksand because people believed money is going out the door as far as you put it in the front door but at the same time it takes a lot of time to fix the problems they are cultural as well as physical. so one of the officers that i admired most commands africom now. we used to look at each other and say can we do this? he said we are going to have to pass and then we have a 50/50 chance. then we looked at each other and said this is our mission and i think we can. so that was the mindset that i had to. >> i have to write to the defense of president karzai. part of the problem is also the expectation of the liberals in particular about that democracy should be like scandinavia democracy instead of accepting
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the fact that it's probably going to be more like chicago and mayor daley. [laughter] [applause] they have come out of so many and it's still at war. can you imagine any stage in the united states that has been at war for 30 years? it's been at war since '79. one opposition was driven into the refugee to it so coming back and rebuilding the political organizations and getting people to know you have to do it in many ways. i'm not supporting corruption. i've never supported the corruption but i think sometimes the standards by which afghanistan is measured are a little too high. and i think that in that sense, afghanistan -- if i was running afghanistan i wouldn't take money for myself but i would
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probably turn a blind eye to some of those that are happening because i need the support of this tribe or that political faction. stories because i agree with the ambassador. we went on a trip one time down to kandahar and the place we met they were not in good shape and as we were flying back just a small group president karzai said they were not in good shape. he had been the previous governor there with a fair amount of corruption he said he would have never let it be like that and one of the minister said yes but he would have stolen the money from the federal government to do that. the president looked at him and said we could persuade this. every story of democracy and took the senator down shortly up for that election in the summer of 09 and everybody was upset because they thought it was a huge collection. president karzai is going to win anyway.
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we went to the village and the senator and i sat in the room with about 50 elders big bearded guys on the floor and at one point when he was pretty confident senator levin said you know, i've got reports that everyone in this village voted for president karzai. how is that democracy? and i was translated and looked at each other and stood up and he said i don't get it. we all got together and talked about. we decided that president karzai was the first for us and why did we split our vote? we are not stupid. i would ask you the baseline issue that we are all going to be struggling with which is as the american combat forces leave
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next year. by extension what is pakistan going to look like? you hear a lot of people that say for all that we've done for all of the planning and average and the intense struggle and loss of life that general mcchrystal and his forces put in, afghanistan is going back to the civil war. you hear a lot of people say whatever he is saying and they are going to go back and kind of gaming afghanistan and using that as a buffer dealing with india and have the same crazy stuff we had before. give me your honest picture of what it looks like. >> i reserve the right to be
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wrong. i think it's not going to break apart into the symbol war. i think there are enough things linking the country together now that they would hold you together. it's critical that the president give up power in 2014 to an elective replacement and it's critical his last name not be karzai. he would probably be a pashtu and just because of the breakdown of the country. one of the institutions that had been built our amateur. i can't be part with metrics but the women i dealt with in afghanistan have a tough road of hope that they are incredibly strong. i don't think they get any interest in going back the millennials -- yes, they deserve the hand. [applause] the millennials are disdainful for the generation.
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they think people in the generation have made huge mistakes and been corrupted etc and the one the generation to move on and they are probably right. at a certain point you have probably got to move the generation out so that people that have gotten a different view on things make a lot of mistakes but i think what happens is afghanistan holds together and i think it probably still suffers from periodic internal insurgencies, tel taliban parts of it to it i don't think if we are smart that al qaeda goes back there and in significant numbers. but if they are, and afghanistan holds together a think that will be easier to address the challenges politics in the long-term economic. >> i share the view of general mcchrystal about afghanistan. i think that in any case the taliban are restricted to the south east and eastern provinces bordering pakistan.
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so for basically there i think we should start running from the fire and pay more attention to dealing with the arsonists and it is to be set by wanted to say in that one sentence. to think that the taliban are a popular afghan phenomenon and the research is the wrong idea. somebody's of what's the taliban in afghanistan because they want to have some influence in the afghan politics because of the view that they think a lady to india will have an influence and that is what needs to be done. pakistan is going to be more complex. i think that there are many lines in pakistan as an ethnic. if you look at the results and why sharif has won but purely by the votes. he hasn't had the support in any of the ethnic groups in pakistan that supported him. the military line still remains and the bigger point that nobody wants to pay attention to is the islamist modernist line. so that is something that needs
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to be worked out. i think that pakistan might have problems. it would have difficulty. it remains of the space course, then maybe a alternative in the next election. these are the real problems and this is what we are going to do pity we aren't going to try to conquer afghanistan. we are going to make sense of whoever is the devin in afghanistan and we will stop writing about this right now. yes we have the right to it but we will not try to get it right now. we will start dealing with india and we will grow our economy and put the kids that are not in school into school and move forward. that would have been five years later the next five years we would have a mixture of bad and worse news. that is honest and helpful.
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let me close this out just by offering a brief comment from the moderator. the ambassador was careful to speak of the arsonist without being specific to that might possibly be. but if you assume what we are talking about here is that of the pakistani intelligence service will continue to medellin afghanistan so as to protect the security interest is interesting that from what by a report it has been working pretty intensively and effectively with the taliban negotiators that have come to begin negotiations with the u.s. representative. it is a broad group and is represented in the breadth of the taliban and house members of the haqqani network who are the scariest people of all who seem to be included.
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so that is the work of the isi. you would say they are trying to get the process a chance. the questions put to the panelists, the idea of afghanistan is going to fall back on time. so many americans have this idea do it fall back into the dark ages don't believe that. it has become the size of kabul, kandahar, all these cities, the electrical connections and the media when i look at the numbers, but one thing i know is it's not going to be the same as it was what's turn the audience
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questions. i would ask you everybody if you would go back to the microphones and call on people and turn this one here and this one here. >> washington, d.c. the national chair for the ready for hillary tax. the not so optimistic ones but if you had a chance to ask the president for one thing in terms of moving and making progress, would that be? >> you want to direct that to one prognosticator? >> they represent the diverse points of view. >> i think a strategy. i think what we have not done well enough is to be able to articulate how we will like this to come out. we have to be realistic.
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you can't make a river 90 degrees different from where it is flowing and we have to be very humble about the changes and the impact we have in the region but i'm not sure that we sit down every and for the american people as well as for the people what we are dealing with paint a picture of how we would like it to come out and then the pieces start to have logic. i think sometimes be executed pieces without that larger picture so that is what i would like to see us create. >> don't give the impression that you are too desperate to get out, even if you are. because then you do that and you are encouraging the enemy. the taliban have always said we have the time and the americans have the logic. then you start saying that and that is an american -- it is a political problem here. and they didn't have to announce the date because then you are just telling them how long they have to wait you don't pay
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attention to anything else it could be like the viet cong who engage in the peace process for a very long time and how they take over saigon. optimism is a great thing. since i moved to the country i realized that there was optimism and optimism is based on realism and i think that it is a lot better than an american of the pakistani and indian descent. and i do a lot of traveling. when i travel sometimes it is more convenient for me to be pakistan a than it is to the american because there is a trust deficit in the muslim world against americans. now my question is related to this what is the growing role of china and pakistan? i feel like pakistan is looking for alternatives than engaging in the u.s. and china, one of its neighbors to increase its
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engagement and if we are talking about economic development and different pathways to resolving the conflict what is china playing at the u.s. perception on that issue to the >> china and pakistan have been closed since 1950 actually but the fact remains the real thing pakistan needs is large capital part. it is a great fantasy that you find in the of press the chinese are somehow coming [inaudible] making the right economic decisions. china does remain engaged much more closely but very frankly they have been there for almost 15 years now to put down the jihadis and move on and also to make peace with india. so i think that there is the chinese policy and then there is a little romance the pakistanis have about china being the great
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redeemer that would come and help them and i don't think that it is all that realistic. >> any idea? what you address pakistan, al qaeda and the pakistan taliban? >> pakistan taliban is quite obvious. most people understand it i think because pakistan has always wanted influence in afghanistan with ravee mujahideen groups that are in the civil war the end up supporting the taliban so that is the pakistan officially days a week of contact with them but we do not control them. it may be true but if that is the case they should support them at all because if we give context with people that don't listen to you, then why take the responsibility for their actions when you have no control over them? but most it is obvious as everybody knows that and that is how we have been brought for the
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peace process. it is easy to understand. pakistan and al qaeda are complicated but there are too many fundamentalist groups and pakistan that day encouraged in different degrees and could they be the ones that have been supporting al qaeda and not the government of pakistan? possibly. but pakistan needs to be rid of al qaeda otherwise the fact that almost ought major leaders that had ever been found have always been found in pakistan is something that really does cast a shadow on my country and i think that shadow needs to be moved. >> i don't think al qaeda has always been of nature. it's never been pakistan the background. they've been there a long time so the relationship and marriage and what not that me get a little stickier than somebody outside. but they are still a foreign entity that can be done away with. they are taliban.
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there's a maaskant allin and a pakistani taliban. inside pakistan, the pakistani taliban is focused really against the government of pakistan. the afghan town of our focused and largely the afghan ethnicities. their focus against the government of afghanistan the isi when we talk about the relationship with the taliban that is with the afghan taliban. immelt we captured a lot of people -- i was in a lot of interrogations' and what not and the least popular people to the afghan taliban are the isi. when you think that there is in the relationship there is help and david is right it's not one of these things they are best buddies and they watch sports together and drank beer. it is very much using threats and what not so it's important to understand that and so it's again it's so complex that it
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doesn't allow a very short answer. >> a question where i'm going to ask you for knowing i want to get do you believe that osama bin laden head for five years in pakistan without anybody in the military or intelligence knowing about it? >> that i'm going to ask you for ten words. they don't believe it? >> then is just my opinion. i don't think the general knew that. i don't think that the leadership -- i don't think there was a plan for where he was the this was 700 meters from the gates of west point. who knows what 700 meters, but the reality is a three distinct and compound -- it was like a funny house at the end of the street people didn't act the same as everybody else in the neighborhood in the area where people are not naturally trusting. so, somebody facility did
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something. malae sort of buying into the idea that the ambassador and i were talking it's not official but it can be someone that has relationships with officials was actually providing the health and there is a failure to ask questions that need to be asked and a due diligence. >> if you read president musharraf's book, he talks about [inaudible] and sestak then there were three houses that were al qaeda houses that we discovered. this was one of those houses then why didn't they keep one and subsequently at is the big question. with that said, it is not conducive to my health and well-being. [laughter] to answer this question -- >> you are an american professor now. >> but i'm still the pakistani citizen. and that is the only citizenship that i have. i think i have said enough.
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[laughter] >> general mcchrystal, thank you for your service and ambassador for your great sense of humor and insight into pakistan. my question you brought up the start, the nuclear weapons in pakistan. i'm still scared that it's 100 nukes in a pretty unstable society. can you give me any more or give me any confidence or in sight at all? >> weidinger write an unstable society shouldn't have that many nuclear weapons and pakistan's nuclear deterrence needs a better practice and last but not least, there is a but a scenario for pakistan the would be the islamist takeover of pakistan. that would be the worst. right now in the pakistan military and general mcchrystal knows there are no loose nukes in pakistan. that you need to understand. they have a command and control
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system and it's pretty stable. but is the country stable enough? perhaps not but then people would argue is that the only criteria for the country's and what are the alternatives? you can't take them away from the soviet union and you couldn't take them away from china or pakistan. so in the end the best course for pakistan on the nuclear question is for pakistan developing the trust of the rest of the world there by pakistan can have a minimum nuclear deterrent which is ensures its sensitivity but basically the fear is you and i. and it reveals house about the unstable country having nuclear weapons. >> general, do you want to speak to that? >> we have time for one last question. yes, sir. >> my question is broad and is directed to the general. it seems to me that presidents come and go. we still have the same policy.
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call it robust or call at the continuation of the british empire where the sun never sets. we will give you in this government and in washington where is this continuous streak of military welfare etc., etc.? where are the power levels that can continue the robust approach? >> i think i know where you stand based upon the way you worded the question. [laughter] it on the first floor of the pentagon. no -- [laughter] it lies in the fact that america has defined certain interests and certain interests beat oil or protection or a the security of certain allies and what not we have a role in the world and we've identified certain interests. we then make decisions to use or not use military force.
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sometimes we get it wrong. sometimes i'm not sure the we get the interest wrong. it's hard to argue the big a broad interest with the way we go after them you can pick up a poster child for this, the invasion of iraq and ask whether that is further american interest and people come along both sides. but i don't think that it was a couple of evil people trying to do whirled hegemony. i think it was a bunch of good people that did an assessment that came out with a different conclusion than you might or i might or anyone else. i never buy into the conspiracy theory because i never got in the room where the conspirators were there. >> people in washington, d.c. each one is that fans in their own careers of the are conspiring to do something together to change the world is very difficult to expect. [laughter] but here's what i think. the problem doesn't lie in
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america have in all this power and being able to use at. in some cases for a lot of good bit i'm giving you a non-american perspective. the fact that americans as a nation just do not know how to do things on a small scale. so for example when you go to afghanistan and you're trying to change everything so how they run their schools and so president eisenhower used to talk about the military-industrial complex and now you also have an ngo development complex. when i was the ambassador one of my favorite complaints used to be the aid to pakistan includes studies on how to run schools in pakistan which are conducted by americans. why should they do that? why can't you let me be the judge of how to run the school in my country and if that were the case you would need to footprint abroad and he would be
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using your military power a lot more shall we say methodically but with less of the fallout you complain about in the brigety feels strongly about. >> one problem having a discussion with the former officials is often end up wishing they were current officials. so i want to thank them. [applause] [inaudible conversations]
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the approach the 50th anniversary of the march on washington and martin luther king jr.'s i have a dream speech the good jobs nation coalition hosted a discussion on civil rights, economic inequality and the relevance of the decision today. it's life at 6 p.m. eastern here on c-span2.
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we said we have a 16-acre piece of land we have to put something on it or maybe not it was open-ended. why do we do with it? every one of wanted a say so very quickly people put leaders and promised the public process to receive public input to generate a master plan. at the same time that was going on like i said before he had of the leased office space and running the port authority and they believed in the importance of the commercial space that was destroyed. they wanted to make sure lower manhattan remained an international financial hub and that is in order to maintain that reputation. they had to rebuild all of its commercial space.
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we are back from new york. the deputy director for the center for justice here to talk about voting rights. voting i.t. walls across the country as we head into 2014 and 2016 what does it look like right now? >> we have certainly seen some in the past couple months that would be making it harder for the voters to principate in the next elections in their states'. one of the things that is getting a lot of notoriety is the omnibus election bill that has happened in north carolina. but it would be a misnomer to call that particular bill 8589 just a photo identification bill because in addition to imposing a strict photo identification wall that is a whole host of things that are going to make it very hard for the voters to put
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state and all levels of government. let's talk about those provisions a little bit more. but in general what is the impact of the voter i.d. all that we have seen put on the books in your opinion? >> voter identification laws vary and some are more strict than others. the ones that garner a particular concern are those that are not possessed by a great number of americans. some photo identification walls are so strict that we can expect millions of americans to not be double to have or acquire them. many of them require the underlining documents that are expensive or difficult to get. we know that the strict photo identification laws are among the african-americans and other minorities and among students. and for that reason when the photo identification laws are proposed they should be reviewed for the kind of ways in which
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they could be enacted in which eligible people will be able to cast a vote that counts. >> attorney general holder has said despite the supreme court striking down the voting rights act he would still use the voting rights act wall to challenge some of the voter identification state laws and he has pointed to section 2 and section 3. can you tell us what those are and how would he use them to fight against the voter i.d. laws? >> guest: we should back up just a little bit for the viewers. the context of the attorney general made the statement was in the face of a devastating decision by the supreme court in a case called shelby county. the shelby county case made a challenge to section 5 of the voting rights act which is the most effective tool that we as a
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country have in combating racial discrimination and voting. the supreme court upheld the constitutionality of section 5 but instead struck down the part of bill all that says who has to abide the requirements of section 5? so that effectively made section 5 inoperable from the places in the country where we could have the most of the region's history of racial discrimination in voting. so what the attorney general said in that statement was that he was going to use other tools available to try to protect voters in the interim. section two is an act that has a nationwide applicability. it prohibits the practice is, the laws, those policies which denied or abridged the minority community ability to vote or participate. section three is a seldom used provision whereby the court
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could decide the particular distinction is subject to the section 5 requirement of the pre-clearance. so section 2 and section 3 are still remaining tools that the voter advocates have at their disposal to protect voters against racial discrimination and voting but in the interim we need the congress to revisit the voting rights act and revise the part that was declared in permissible by the supreme court decision so we can make sure that the voters everywhere in the country who are at risk of racial discrimination are able to be given the kind of protection they deserve under the constitution. >> how would congress realize that section? the supreme court that argued against striking it down said i believe the methodology was just not current. so how with the congress realize
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that? >> we can spend time talking about the supreme court decision and whether it was a good one. at the outset the viewers need to be clear that this was a devastating decision that i believe people are going to look back upon and hold the court in a great deal of disappointment and discussed for this kind of decision and i think north carolina which i know we are going to talk about a little bit later is emblematic of the kind of problems we will see after that decision but in the interim the congress can diffuse the different parts of the coverage formula and come up with a new coverage formula. we know there are efforts to already make this happen. there's been to hearings and action taken is bipartisan and considered because it is going to get a great deal of certainty by the supreme court.
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so if eric colder than challenges the is based on section 2 and section 3 where do you see this going? you see it headed back to the supreme court? >> there is a lot that can happen in the interim. that is one possibility. section two isn't the only tool to challenge laws that make it difficult for the voters to be able to participate. and i want to just be really clear that it's not just about the voter identification laws. the act eric holder mentioned in getting involved with is a redistricting matter. section two isn't limited to the voter identification wall but instead it is used to target those principles and they can include a lot of things like in north carolina it's being used to challenge the cutbacks to the early voting, the end of the elimination of the same day registration and a whole host of other things.
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>> that was signed by the supreme court decision which would require the government issued on eda card in 2016. it ends the same day registration and short an early voting and increases the number of the observers that can challenge the ability and ends diprete registration initiatives for high school students. the governor has said in a statement to the l.a. times put a story on this the need for photo id has been questioned by those that say voter fraud is not a problem in north carolina. however was that the high level of the identification the photo provides is it possible to know because you haven't been robbed doesn't mean you shouldn't lock your doors at night. >> the important thing to remember is not only does the north carolina bill do those particular things it also does other things like make it much easier for the money influences
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to have a greater voice than ordinary americans pity and the photo identification issue is a host of issues the will make it hard for people to vote. right now there hasn't been significant evidence that people were abusing the identification requirements that existed in north carolina. and we do know there was record evidence that hundreds of thousands of people are likely to have the kind of foot of identification that is going to be required in order to be able to vote. they are likely to have those that already experienced difficulties in participating in our election process and something we need to be very mindful of is that we do not want to be a country that makes it difficult for our elderly or minorities or students or folks who are poor or people who move
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frequently to be able to have a voice in this country. in 1989 with the foot wide and vacation requirements and the other things that you mentioned better and make it harder for people to produce a date in the state and local and federal elections. >> what's good the first phone call from kansas city, missouri. the republican caller. >> caller: i don't know why people are making such a big deal about this. i've had identification since i was 13. once you are of legal age to vote you automatically get voter registration in the mail, so where is this a problem? for christ sakes it makes no sense. yes you should have to have a total identification to vote and
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you should be a legal citizen and not just a president. there is nothing racist about that and no voter suppression in and the idea. >> guest: there is no dispute that persons who vote should be eligible. they should be legal residents and only those that are over 18 and otherwise allowed to vote under the state election law should be allowed to vote. what sort of barriers are you going to put in front of the ballot box to the eligible americans? and while some people do need a driver's identification card to be able to operate in the world, other people don't. and we do know that there are large percentages of eligible americans that don't have the
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kind of identification that are required. one of the plaintiffs that is being lifted up in the north carolina litigation is an elderly african-american woman who was born at home and the name on her birth certificate is slightly different than the driver's license and those kind of mistakes happen to a number of people. we have people that were born at home to midwives who may or may not have an underlying record of their ability to vote. and up until a few years ago when this country and almost everywhere they were able to cast doubt that account. there is very little disagreement that we as a country need to take steps to make sure that only eligible voters are participating. the bigger question is how are we going to do that and are we going to allow these walls between know make it harder for
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certain segments of the population to be able to be taking wind and standing in the way of people's right full access to the ballot box. >> you referenced there are lawsuits against the north carolina ied wall. the aclu, the naacp both brought lawsuits against bill law. what is the timeline for the court to take that up? >> guest: that, you know, the legal process is a long process which is a part of the reason why losing section 5 of to -- was so significant. it had a mechanism that allowed the discriminatory law to be blocked before it could hurt voters. so the actual timetable was anyone's guess what we do know that there are advocates at the local and the national level working very hard to try to make sure the voters are adequately protected. in the meantime we can put pressure on the congress to try
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to revise the voting rights act so that we have another tool available to protect voters. >> the "washington post" reported leader the democratic legislative campaign committee launched what they called a 50 state initiative to promote to the voting reform that would make it easy to cast the ballett run by american values first organized under section 501c3 by the code and run by michael sargent, the executive director democrats will push legislation similar to the colorado measure signed earlier this year that requires all to be conducted by mail. what do you make of the legislative initiative that this group is going to be pushing on the state level what are they proposing? >> the center is a nonpartisan organization and we don't comment on the particular parties. but the important thing about the colorado belle was that it had a number of provisions that made it possible for people to
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be able to cast a ballot on the same day the registered to vote which is one part that was taken away from voters in north carolina. the hope is that there will be bipartisan efforts across the state to try to make sure that the voters are adequately given the protection is the need in order to cast an effective balad. >> here is a tweet. would you verify each person can vote of a than a photo id card? >> guest: states use different mechanisms and have different ways of trying to verify. in some states a signature is sufficient and other states the do wide variety of identification's are allowed. there is no one-size-fits-all medved. the important part of lawsuit is going to be with the north carolina is that there is record
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evidence that this particular stringent kind of photo identification is one that is going to have the effect poor african-americans and the elderly in north carolina. a number of states have more identification that are permissible and a number of states feel like they are able to operate by verifying the signature. to be clear these very stringent government issued photo of the medication laws are a phenomena and they play out in different ways and different states. it's an important fact intensive inquiry that looks at the nature of the kind of the photo identification that is permitted into the nature of the monfort do it in a vacation that is permitted as well as the population on the ground. >> host: 40 states presently have laws in place the required
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voters to show i.t. at the polls in november. let's go to jane in oxford. thanks for hanging on the line. go ahead. >> caller: good morning. i have to questions. first of all, when the governor made a comment to defend the north carolina voters might be law he made the comment you need a i.t. to buy sudafed. my response it's not guaranteed in the constitution that you have a right to buy sudafed. the other point i want to make is clearly it is a voter suppression when you can't use your student i.t., if a student is in college and votes with his college location the parents lose their tax-exempt status so those are the kind of things that are voter suppression. there are lots of ways. if you look back at the kind of idea that will allow in north
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carolina the kind of documentation i should say that has been allowed in north carolina it's very clear there are ways to identify the national presidents etc. but the thing to me is when you start limiting the kind of idea that can be used it is without question the objective is to decrease the vote of those folks that did we and our case voted democratic. >> host: before you go can i ask you to respond to the governor said in a statement when he signed the law that is several polls show north carolina voters 72% of them hold support for the federal idea the poll. 75% overall support for the voter and the voter identification. what do you make of that?
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when you start limiting the kind of photo i.d. that can be used that is the issue. if you ask anybody they want to protect our vote and that is the issue. you have to go back and dig up the birth certificate before you can get the photo that is what the issue becomes. >> guest: the other thing is people don't ask what happens when there is eligible people who don't have the photo identification. should there be some mechanism for people to vote? the majority of americans in the country believe that eligible people should be able to cast a ballot that would count. asking the kind of polls that actually don't go through and explain what happens when you do have an eligible person that doesn't have the kind of limited federal identification that is allowed should be completely
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cast out of the space process? the answer would be resoundingly no. one of the problems would be the extraordinary identification if they don't have appropriate mechanisms addressing the eligible people that do not have a very narrow list of proposed identification. >> host: nearly 70% of african-americans in north carolina voted earlier in 2012. the gop response restrict early voting. is that figure accurate do you know? >> guest: i have seen it in a number of places. what i think is important to remember is this is part of an omnibus legislation that happened in a state where there was widespread participation. north carolina was frequently left it up as a model of a robust democracy because it had lots of measures that promoted
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the space participation. and this is a serious all back. a rollback i might add that was -- that happen on a hill of the supreme court decision which could have prevented such a rollback and in fact there was legislature saying we were going to limit this to a photo identification bill but because we no longer have to go through the pre-clearance requirement as a result of the shelby county decision we can load the bill up and and put all these other measures. this is a very significant piece of legislation that my worry is going to be the tip of the iceberg because of the supreme court decision. and in the coming months and years it's very important that the voters, communities and advocates be very vigilant about the kind of measures that could be enacted and that we believe will be enacted that will make it much more difficult for people of color to people to participate in the electoral
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process. >> host: independent caller. >> caller: yes, sir. i was wondering in today's day and age most people have a photo id in order to conduct business in this country you need a federal i.t.. if you walked on the streets and the cop asks for a photo i.d. and you don't produce one he is going to be suspicious. you will be under suspicion. what i want to know is there is such a small group of people in the country that do not have an id that you are talking about all in north carolina and the photo id law. there are so many -- such a small portion that doesn't have a total idea that i want to know why nobody is talking about the voter suppression that has gone on now like in the last election, intimidation and suppression has gone on and what can be done about the things that are happening now?
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>> host: okay. myrna perez? >> guest: i think the caller raises a good point but i want to address another issue. percentage there are smaller amounts of people that do not have strict federal and the kitchen requirements. the caller is right many people in the country have this but we are a democracy for all. in quoting knowledgeable people that do not have strict for the identification requirements. the caller raises a good point which is we saw a wave of restrictive legislation across the country and politicians for trying to manipulate the rules of the game to keep some people from voting and to allow certain people to vote. and we saw through a very overwhelming response from the public and voter of tickets and the department justice a back of the wave of suppression.
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.. voters everywhere going to be the protections they occur. that's something that and most americans want. we want a system where eligible americans are able to freely and fairly have a voice in our democracy. our democracy needs to be assessable, and steps that are
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dowrnt that intention should be given the kind of attacks and challenges that we are seeing in north carolina. >> host: on the line for republicans, brett in saint joe, arizona. >> caller: yes. before i get started. i would like to know how many called your guest's first comment legal residents vote. i think it should be american citizens vote. the reason we have the problem is we failed to enforce our immigration policy. we know we have 10 million people here illegally. we have another 2 to 3 million that overstayed the visa. many states are issuing these people driver's licenses, and social security cards when they come here to work and everything else. they can use as a form of identification to falsely vote. now my father was born in 1933 in the depression. his birth certificate says 33. his social security card said'
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34. nobody caught that until he was in the late 20s until he got a passport. instead of saying i'm disdisfranchised he took personal responsibility to get it straightened out when he was younger. >> guest: well, i would like to apologize. i would need to looked at the transcript to see if i misspoke. i want to be clear only eligible americans should be able to vote in federal elections, and other elections can be left for states. i'm not taking a position on that. but the dishaint -- incident that the father of the caller said is an interesting one. because in that incidence, the person had the occasion to try to get that fixed. they needed to get it fixed because they needed a passport. remember, until up until recently the documentation that
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people had or didn't have was sufficient for them to vote. the bigger question is, like, how difficult are we going make it for people to be able to register to vote. and how much advocacy they are going to need to do in order to be able to register and participate and cast a ballot that count. for what? the big question is, like, like who is being shut out of our electorial process? what do we have to gain? right now the big concern in north carolina is that they're going to be the hundred of thousand of eligible americans who do not have the kind of identification that is required. and there are not enough easy mechanisms to allow them to get it. they're going to be shut out of the electorial process. again, i think it would be a mistake to focus the energy either in this segment or in public discussion on the photo-identification bill. there are other provisions that
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are also going to be -- >> you can see the rest of this at c-span.org. we're going live to a discussion on civil rights and economic inequality. we hear from civil rights activists. it's hosted by the group good job nation. it's just getting underway. >> it is now the channel is called the urban view. for those of you that do have a sirius xm, it can be found on channel 1110. and we're 6:00 to 10:00 it's four hours of unscripted talk, and what we're going to have here today is unscripted discussion. people are going to be talking from their hearts, and you are here at what is known at dr. king's unfulfilled dream economic and equality, and the
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working poor. then this discussion is sponsored by the good jobs nation. i have in front of me about 12 talking points that were handed me and they might all -- cause your eyes to glaze over. i'm going try to in my opening remarks to humanize these talking points. one of the talking points is that we shouldn't forget that 507 years ago the march on washington was about jobs. just as much as it was about freedom and equality. as a matter of fact, five of the ten original demands and most people don't remember that after
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dr. king's iconic speech, the "i have a dream." most know the text of the written speech. raldolf stood up and gave ten demands. there were ten demands that were read to that crown. and they were aimed at reducing economic inequity, securing good jobs, and livable wages. that was fifty years ago. fifty years later these core demands of economic equality remain unfulfilled today. the average income of white families is $89,000 versus $49,000 for african-americans and latinos. the wealth gap is even more
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pronounced. the average wealth of a white family is $632,000 versus $103,000 for african-americans. someone, i heard, once said the difference between income and wealth is that income is what you need to eat. wealth is what you need to grow. and we're going to talk about both. let me humanize this for a moment. and share with you before i have each of the individuals on the panel introduce -- themselves and speech. let me share with you, if is on the air right now. clarence, the last three hours, in the past three hours, this
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has been my experience here in washington, d.c. i go in to walgreens to get a prescription filled. i have insurance. it cost me $10. an elderly woman who was in front of me had two prescriptions. it cost her $23 each. she couldn't pay for the prescriptions. so she didn't bother to get the medicine she needed. she was on medicare. i leave, come over here, i walk here, and i walk past the martin luther king, jr. library. many people don't know that one of the facts is when the library was built, there was an effort to prevent it from being named
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martin luther king, jr. the powers to be in washington, d.c., didn't want it named after dr. martin luther king. i walk past on one side, the side where the library is, and there is a line up of homeless people who are waiting for car, trucks, or vans to take them to the shelter as they do every evening. there had to be a minimum of maybe twenty or thirty. across the street was the catholic charities. there was a line even longer where they were handing out food for the evening. and i immediately -- bill, had flash back to images of the great depression. one of the fascinating things is one of the homeless men
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recognized me. didn't ask me for a handout. didn't ask fell madly more -- ask me for a dime. do you remember dr. ron walters? yeah. yeah. yeah. what was that he was talking about hispanic and black folk getting together? i am absolutely floored that he is a homeless man who is intelligent and bright enough to be able to stop me and not ask for a handout, but wanted to know where are we? what was ron walters talking about? sometimes i see homeless people going through trash and getting newspapers. i swear to god, they read more than we do. then i get about three blocks down, and there's a woman
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probably the age of my oldest daughter. she says sir, sir, just one block from here, can you help me get something to eat? and i'm on my way here. something is wrong. dangerously wrong in this country. it's getting far more dangerous than i think most of us in this room realize. i want this panel to understand something. folks out there wearing nice suits may be educate. i bet you everlast single one of them have been where you have been at some point. i bet you. i bet the vast majority of them had a low-income job. i bet you the vast majority of them lived in neighborhoods where they had to fight to improve the quality of their
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education. they're sitting in front of you now because they want to help -- they want to do something. i'm going to close my opening remarks by saying that just as liberals got away, i want to can clarence for help on this one. , you know, there was a debate. should we keep calling ourselves liberal? remember that. the right-wingers were so good at demonizing that term that folk were almost embarrassed to say we're a liberal. i even interview a guy who wrote a book on this the words we should use. the terminology we should use, and he saidlet used word progressives. so now when you listen to msnbc or you listen to commentators.
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what do we say? we from progressives. we're progressives. that's a good term. i'm going tell you what we're facing. you're not talking about successfullism in america. these aren't conservativeisms that we're debating. these are regressives. that's we better -- i'm telling you we better start calling them. they want to regress they want to regress back to 1963, and beyond. they want to regress. they are regressives. they are not conservatives. they are regressives. the opposite of progress is regress. that's what we're facing. i want you to understand something else. there is no bill oh i you no glen beck in the room. i hope they are sitting at home
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watching c-span so when they ask the question where is the leadership, where is the black leadership? where is the latino leadership. look around at the room and you'll see it. you'll see anemia this room who come here not just to talk, but to get information and be able to go out and do what has has to be done. this saturday and this 50th anniversary is much more than a commemoration. we would be remiss if we reduced it to simply a commemoration. we must understand it's a continuation. i'll close my part by reminding people that raldolf, i've played it from time to time on my show. raldolf, who was really the god father of this march fifty years
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ago. he can speak to that. he can speak to that and the role the labor played. that's another talking point i have here. that only 7% of working people now are in the labor are in the labor movement. a part of the labor movement. labor movement has been demonized. poor people have been demonized. that's what is going on. but the thing that i always remember and i almost -- and i can't do it by memory, but i'll para phrase, raldolf -- if the march on washington said look for the dixie carats, reactionary republicans who are opposed to medicare, social security, federal funding of
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public education, and minimum wage. and there you will find reactionary working with reactionary republicans to end those programs. all you have to do is change one word "dixie karat" and replace it with tea party. it's the same thing. what are they opposed to today fifty years later? public funneling for public education, social security, medicare, and medicaid. so this march is a continuation. so what i've been charged to do today. there's a two-part -- there's two parts to this. this first panel are people that
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a couple we interviewed or attempted to interview. a couple couldn't make it but they are well represented. i guarantee these are folks you will see every day. every single day. if you walk in to a fast food, you see them. you see them sometimes when you walk to a building and they're responsible for for the security of the building. you see them every day. sometimes you don't see them because they are working when you've gone home and emptying their trash. they're cleaning your restroom. they're making sure your offices are clean, your cubicles are clean. you see them every day. so we're going allow each of them in their own way to tell their story. then we will have a second panel that will be brought up. let me start, if we don't mind, at the far end, and what you
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need to do is speak right to the microphone. relax, you're among friends. you're among people -- as i said -- who have been there. introduce yourself and we'll go right down the row. [inaudible] did you want to start here? i'm sorry. thank you. >> good evening, everybody. how are you doing? [inaudible conversations] >> my name is -- [inaudible] i'm a family man, i've been working and i've been struggling. i had a good-paying job. a good union job where i had pension and health care. because of me, you know, not under my control, i end up losing a job. so i had to end uptaking whatever job came along to make sure that i provided for my family.
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i'm struggling. at my age i'm 54 years old. i have to sacrifice myself to provide for my family. therefore, i don't have health care. i don't have -- i wasn't always struggling. i mean, i had a good job. i worked for the smithsonian, and the job was not paying enough. they're not offering me nothing. my family they're okay. , i mean, things are kind of tight, but we're making it. i have two little grandsons that i watch out for because their fathers don't play a part in their life. i try to fill that void by being
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there for them. i let them know when they do good in school, i try to reward them for doing good in school, but by things being tight i can't do that. it's hard for me as a man, a father, a grandfather to tell have to tell the kids, no, i don't have the money for it. think thing to you all today is that we need help. we need help because we are struggling. we have fathers who can barely provide and mothers doing the best they can. when i had a chance to meet the gentlemen sitting up, he kind of inspired me to keep on fighting because he said that's what you do. don't give up! keep fighting! he said, if you need me, call
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me. i'll be there. i want to thank mr. turner for inspiring me to be able to sit up here today and share with you and the people in the room the struggle you had to go through and going through it now. thank you. [applause] >> fred turner had a good union job. he made $14.50 an hour. you now make? >> $9.90. an hour. >> if i'm correct, is it robert day? >> yeah. >> daye. mr. daye. >> good evening, everyone. >> good evening. >> my name robert daye. i worked down at union station. which is a federal building. i have been working there for
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five years. i started out making $8 an hour. today i make $9.75 an hour. and i have no benefits. i had dreams, and it didn't include me working here. i want to be a lawyer but i couldn't afford to go to school. and i had to survive. i stand up here today and i say i'm a survivor! my mother suffered from drug addiction all her life. not only was she on drugs, she was dealing drugs to support me and my siblings. i remember one night the police came to my mother's house to arrest her, and the police found me sleeping in my room. they thought i was a part of my mother's drug operation so they arrested me too. i was 19 years old, and falsely convicted of possession of
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drugs. i have never sold drugs, nor have i -- nor do i do drugs. i was -- excuse me. i was just at home in my room. after this experience, i was determined not to go down that path. i wanted to go to college and i still want to go to college. but i didn't have the money and don't have the money to pay for college. i just knew i had to get a job to survive. i work hard every day to provide for my 11 month-old son but $9.75 isn't enough. we barely exist. today i'm fighting to make this job better. rent, food, milk, diapers, electricity, and heat has to be paid. and i'm a hard worker and deserve a good job that allows me to pay the basic bills. how can a man like me get ahead
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on poverty and no benefits? i can't. that's why we need to make dr. king's dream for economic justice real today. thank you. [applause] >> the next young lady works not too far from here at subway in the ronald reagan federal building. she's a sandwich maker. [speaking in foreign language]
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disploit my name is karla. i work in the subway at the ronald reagan building, which is a federal building as a sandwich maker. despite my job title, i also serve as a prep person, a cashier, and i do any other tasks in the restaurant that need to be done. [speaking in foreign language] >> translator: i've worked at subway for 11 years, and my salary is only $9.75 an hour. on average, i work 45-hours a week, but i have never received overtime pay. i don't receive any health
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benefits, not even sick days. [speaking in foreign language] >> translator: about six years ago, i cut a finger on i had left-hand while i was at work. the owner refused to pay for the cost of medical attention, i was forced to pay more than $12 00 for a work injury. even worse, subway didn't even pay me for the two days i missed
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for the accident. [speaking in spanish]
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[speaking in spanish] >> translator: i have two children in el salvador i try to visit each year. every time it's more difficult. and this year maybe i won't be able to take the trip to spend some time with them. i don't get any paid vacation, which makes my situation more difficult. [speaking in spanish] [speaking in spanish]
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>> translator: please remember martin luther king's vision and stand up for us. i'm asking you to help us fight for good wages and benefits, paid sick leave and vacation time. we need to be able to enjoy the time spend working to be able to spend with our families and maybe one day be able to reunite with our families. thank you. [applause] ..
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>> my name is barbara collins. i used to work at wal-mart. >> used to work at wal-mart. we as washington d.c. as you know how this upcoming decision that has to be made as it relates to wal-mart. g clarence, i forgot the billions they made worldwide. okay. beyond our pay scale. it is multiple billions of dollars. 16 billion revenue.
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please, thank you for being with us. >> thank you. good evening, everyone. my name is barbara collins. two months ago i went on strike. i stood up against wal-mart, the world's largest private employer, calling him a lasting positive change. before i explain why went on straight, let me tell you a little bit about myself. am a single mother and i live in placerville, california. with my two children, two wonderful children before i was illegally fired by wal-mart for exercising my freedom of speech and going on straight. i worked at wal-mart for over seven years. like any other parent, i would do anything to make sure that my family had a roof over their heads and food on the table. but no matter how hard i work, i
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still didn't make ends meet. it was hard to afford clothes for my children, pay for rent and when it came to food, i'd have to go to three different food banks in my county. despite the years i invested in wal-mart, i was never guaranteed 40 hours a week. i was scheduled as few as eight hours a week. eventually i had to turn to food stamps. sadly, i am not alone. when i started talking to my coworkers, it was surprising to find out much about all struggled. scraping by on poverty wages. and while we struggled, wal-mart
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continues to make 16 billion in profits each year. there rather than making changes for the associates, wal-mart instead retaliated against those for speaking out. that's why last june i decided to stand up against the corporate giant and joined over 100 wal-mart workers and hopped on buses had participated in the right for respect. on our way to wal-mart headquarters in baghdad, arkansas. while in arkansas, we participated in a strike against wal-mart, calling on the company's management to stop illegal retaliation against workers who speak out on issues that affect us, such as making sure that all workers get treated with respect, ensuring
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affordable health care and ending wal-mart property wages. but it can, instead of listening to our cause for change, wal-mart illegally fired and disciplined over 60 of us for participating in the strike, including myself. we are not giving up and instead, we are fighting back. we are filing charges with the labor board. we are speaking out about the legal action the company is taking and we are building stronger support every day. this week, some of last that were fired are here in washington to talk to locals and national leaders about the jobs at wal-mart. the truth is that the jobs at wal-mart are not what the company is selling the people on
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television are behind the closed doors in meetings. and it's a problem for all of us. those were cannot wal-mart and every single american taxpayer that her company's largest employer is creating jobs that forced its employees to rely on public assistance. such as food stamps and subsidized housing to make ends meet. wal-mart can do better and americans need to demand wal-mart to do better. [applause] >> our last panelist and i
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attempted to make them first, so i apologize, jonathan. that may introduce jonathan ross. >> hello, everyone. my name is jonathan ross and i work at the restaurant associate at smith since american history. i am a single father and i make $10,000 a year. i rent a room with my daughter, which we share because i can afford to get any other rooms or any other place for us to live. on my off days, i paint and do other work to get enough money to pay rent, food, clothes, transportation and other necessities. restaurant associates has a federal contact with smithsonian institute that don't pay employees like me enough to survive. the workers you're just heard
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from joined good nations campaign to guarantee that companies doing business with the federal government pay their employees living wages and treat them with respect. we have gone on strike at union station, ronald reagan and at the smithsonian institute, all federal buildings that is the landlord of the buildings. there are a million more low-wage contract workers like us across the country. presidents can help us all with this executive order. back in dr. king's days, our country was being torn apart by racial tensions. president lyndon b. johnson issued an executive order in 1965, banning discrimination by the government and government contractors against their workforce. the president can follow his lead. in closing, i think it is ironic
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that i work in a building that contains the greensboro, north carolina lunch counter from what borough at which brave young men and women participated and force the companies to change it resent discrimination policy and items from the 1963 march on washington. now almost 50 years later, as we reflect on the march on washington, we must realize some of dr. king's dreams is being fulfilled. thank you very much. [applause] >> what you have heard, and i just made a couple of notes here as i conclude this part of our
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discussion, and ask that marcia marbach, and continue. could you give all of them -- i think they deserve a run of applause. [applause] and i guess the other pl can start. i'm not sure if you want to bring your panel up and i will just close out my section. i believe there will be key when i part. while they are making this transition, i will make a couple of remarks. just observations. one of the things that i want us to understand in the makeup of
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the panel that you saw is often an attempt to suggest that the problem, whether it is food stamps are what they call entitlement, they usually indicate it them. i interviewed a professor from cornell that did a study with another sociology professor from washington university in safe list. and the two of them had been a 42 year study on poverty in america. 42 years they followed a few thousand people. one of the conclusions that they came to you, it's not them. it is not then black folk. it is not then hispanic. it is now asked. it's us. and that's what you just saw
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here in this representation of this panel, eyes. us as a pronoun, but also us has to very interesting matters, u.s. robert day, the young man, i talked with him earlier. and he said, you know, his biggest concern and he didn't mention this, as getting involved, standing up, of even coming here and speaking. i want you to understand come even coming here and speaking and being on c-span for the world to see, he said was fear. fear. fear that he might lose his job. and the other thing that really
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moved all of us was the pain. and i think i remember hearing congressman elijah cummings once gave a speech and he said pain leads to passion and passion has to lead to a purpose. pain brings about passion and we felt that pain. i saw your faces. we felt that pain. and we now have to take that pain that now brings passion. but the passion has to be what? it has to have a purpose. and that leads me to the final point before i bring marcia up, is the late professor ron walters was once asked by
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students at fisk university, dr. wolters, what is the difference between a moment any movement because he lectured on young people and they have these moments, these moments of going here, moments of going over there. he said the difference between a moment and a movement is sacrifice. sacrifice. and what you see here on this being all our old who have made sacrifices. to keep the movement going. so with that, let me assure dues the young man who is going to continue this second panel and bring marcia up and introduced the panel and then we will have
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q&a and discussion with everyone involved. thank you. [applause] >> thank you, joe. hello. on april 4th, 1968, dr. martin luther king jr. is tragically gunned down in memphis, tennessee and he said at the intersection of two great sources for enhancing human dignity. the civil rights movement and labor movement. it should be remembered that king was in memphis to help support striking black sanitation workers who marcia and, carrying placards with the now iconic message, i am a man. the black americans, sanitation workers were sick of being referred to as boys by their supervisors and racist whites. in addition, as garbage
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collectors, they were tired of being treated for the bad management and others who let down upon them. because their employer would provide a place to shower after work, garbage collect as -- the best drivers wouldn't pick them up and they often had to walk home. managers failed to fully recognize the basic humanity of individuals refused to install safety features on garbage trucks and two sanitation workers tragically died in an accident. this led to the strike everyone knows about and 68 were 1300 workers, one of which we haven't stay cheery today, marched with dr. king and carried signs saying i am a man. they had two sets of messages, economic inequality and not one simple message they held on their sign spoke to both. king told the strikers that they were going beyond addressing civil rights to fighting for fundamental human rights by focusing on economic justice.
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the strikers should have the right not only to sit at the lunch counter, but also to afford a hamburger he declared. since that time, we lost ground in reaching the goal of economic justice and inequality has reached record heights. american labor movement that can travel to memphis to support to become a fraction of what it was worth less than 7% of private-sector workers, members of unions as in the 1950s was over a third. realizing dr. king's vision for economic justice is harnessing every level of government that had disposal, both legislative and objective to rebuild unions. when a congress to raise the minimum wage and reform labor law, but we also need old action for the president and executive orders. when we recall the victories of the civil rights movement, we remember actions taken by congress to pass the voting rights act in civil rights act, the presidential executive action was critical.
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president johnson signed an executive order 1965 and a discrimination in government contract team in advance or in hiring standards, going beyond the civil rights act of 64. the simple act open the doors of economic opportunities for millions of low-wage american. the workers we just heard from are calling on president obama to issue an executive order that would give low-wage federal contract workers a living wage and benefit and just to put that in perspective come a recent study said that if he signs the single executive order, to my low-wage workers would be lifted if poverty. we heard several stories today. that is 2 million people whose lives they made better by simple executive order, not going to congress, not having to justify why it can't be done, but issued an executive order saying all federal contract or is to deserve a living wage and benefit. the civil rights veterans on station they were part of new
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good -- movement. and this panel we asked them to offer guidance workers were considered martin luther king struggle for economic justice today. and with that, i will let them introduce themselves and ask a few questions and open it up to the audience to ask questions of them. >> okay, my name is alvin turner. i was one of the original sanitation workers in 1968. in 1968, when we started the strike, the start of the strike was in 1960. there were 1300 employees and only dirty three went out on strike.
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and when i say i am behind you, i mean that. anything i can do to help you, let me know. in 1968, 33 people went on strike out of third 1000. now we would know we had a lot of cleaning up to do. we had to get with these people and show them how they were being mistreated. in 1968, about two weeks before february 3rd team, we went to every employee that was working.
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and these employees agree that they were being misused and they agreed they wasn't going to take it anymore. this is how we got them out. the morning of february the 13th, we went to installation and we told them we ain't going to work anymore until our demands are met. and we didn't. this is the first time that the city was shut down. and what i am going to tell you all today, it might take time, but go back to your employee and
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give your coworkers and explained to them how they're being misused misused. explain to them the thing that dr. king said. dr. king said it's a sin for a person to live in this rich nation and we see starvation wages. what we did, we had employees that were working eight hours a day five days a week and on welfare. that wasn't right. once we showed olive our employees how they were being
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used and mistreated, then we can have any trouble bringing them out. and to tell you the truth, international didn't know we was going out on strike. when they knew, we was out. they said go and help them do what you can. we stayed on strike for 65 days. after we was on strike about two weeks, dr. king joined us. and dr. king, in his last speech, he went to the mountaintop and it flipped over
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and he saw the promised land. this was his last speech and he said i might not get that with you, but we will make it. now, i believe we've made it. now, we've got some cleaning up to do, but we made it to the promised land. look in the white house. that's a black man. and when he made that speech, he didn't have too many black men. look around and see how many you've got now. we've done made it now.
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what we've got to do, the first thing we've got to do is rest and vote. see, dr. king knew what was coming. he knew that the promised land had a lot of people calling you back, trying to hold you back. now what we need to do is rest. you've got to march up there in washington is working against you. they are working five days a week, trying to hold you back in
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these are some of the main reasons that minimum wage is is what they yesterday. the president wants to give it to you, but he's got so many people who against him, working against him and they don't want to pass methane. so what i suggest, get to everybody you can. that's what i'm doing, everybody you can and try and get them registered to vote. because until we do something about these people who's against us, until we do something about that, we are going to still be in a slump. because we are going to overcome
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it. keep the faith. we are going to overcome it. just like i told the brother with you, i will be with you in any way i can help you. because that was the way it happened for me. we never would've made it if we hadn't have had help from the community. [applause] >> thank you, alvin.
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fill. >> let me just, before i shared a couple comments a couple ideas and make sort of a personal observation. we have just heard the real-life story of one of this nation's finest citizens. [applause] it is difficult to put into words the struggle that these men went through and the sacrifices they made when they struggle for respect and dignity mr. turner is my hero, my hero. we heard from five other people. we heard their story. i would point out that neither one of them asked for a handout.
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didn't ask for any special treatment, just the opportunity to earn a decent living and care for themselves and their families. that is everyday people. i would start just a remark were mr. ross left off. the president can deal with this issue. for 2 million people, he can help them find a ladder out of poverty. poor people work every day. they simply need a helping hand to level the economic playing field so they can earn a decent salary and work with the degree of respect and decent treatment. this week and the remainder of this week and next week, we will hear a lot about.or king's dream and rightly so.
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the optimism and hope expressed by dr. king minitab about himself and his people in their dream is really the thing that we all pray for her. while we will not hear is a lot about what he talked about before he got to victory and peace. dr. king said early in his speech that in the sense we had come to the nation to cash a check. he went on to say that when the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the constitution and the declaration of independence, they were signing a promissory note. and this note was a promise that all men, black am a white, brown, whatever would be guaranteed the inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
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.. a friend of mine used to say a problem we have that a good job -- and charlie was right. i believe dr. king would be outraged at the situation --
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among poverty among people who work every day. they're not looking far handout. they are looking for a fair shake. we have a vendor and contractor relationship between multimillionaires and billionaires with the federal government, yet their workers earn poverty wages. and this -- folks who will not work hard. i'm looking at one who will work as hard as any man ever works. you cannot raise yourself out of poverty unless the playing field is level unless you have an opportunity sit down with whoever makes decision on your well being and equal across the substantial. no employer every played workers what they're entitled to. we used to do studies, last
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year, or the year before the wages were such. well, that's got nothing to do with right now. you heard people say they earn wages which do not allow them to pay for the basic necessities of life. there's something fundamentally wrong with that equation. workers should be given the opportunity to organize, bargain collectively, and let the results be what the traffic will bear. the government there is nothing special about the government. it is an employer. it employs more low-wage workers than any other company in the include country. including mcdonalds, including walmart. it stands behind the issue of we are the government. let think on that for a moment. the government makes more billionaires than any other entity. and the vendors that run the buildings that the five people
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work for make hundreds of millions of dollars. yet pay their workers minimum wages, sometimes less based on the number of hours you put in which you receive. as the young lady said. the ceos make millions. the companies make billions, yet the workers who contribute to that must survive minimum wages, no benefits, and none of the special perks that come if you are represented by an organization that negotiates weigh -- wages of benefit. the president can solve the problem. executive order, there's nothing new about it. nothing different about them. we do it for private contractors, there will be no
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distribution among workers who work for contractors doing business with the federal government. that can be done tomorrow, and these workers can begin to see some daylight in their lifestyle . i would end with this point, these battles are not about the wages and the benefits as much as they are about the respect and dignity. that should go with workers for what they contribute. they should be able to live in a decent quality of life by virtue of the work they do, and i want to -- whatever we can do to help and what i can do to help we're going win the battle. we're going win this battle! [applause] we have an employer restaurant associates restaurant associates who run the restaurants earn
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$3.12 billion last year. $3 billion. i mean, i used to think there's nothing legal you can do to make that kind of money. [laughter] and the other vendors -- the other vendors are equal in profits. so what is to keep them from treating their workers fair lip. what is to keep them from establishing decent wages and benefits so people can live with some degree of dignity and respect. that's the battle we're in. and i would hope that during the course, somebody would mention these five people in the kind of work they do and remember in keep in mind the workers who share that 65-day experience of fight in to change their quality of life for the opportunity. thank you very much. [applause]
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>> thank you, bill. larry? >> my name is larry reuben. good evening, everybody. thank you for watching. even you, glen beck. i want to thank good jobs nation for bringing us all together. i think this is just a sample, we are just a small sample of what we're going to be seeing on saturday. people are going to be coming from all over the country. fifty years ago, being at that march was the first time first experience i had that allowed me to feel like an american. i've been working for snicc.
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in georgia and mississippi. we are fighting the sheriff's i elected officials, the people that in a way they believe think were fighting america. then the largest crowd ever assembled in this country to that time came together. we are america. this coming started we have to come together again because, well, substitute the tea party, the brothers, goldman sachs, corporations for the sheriffs and the policemen in the south.
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look what they're doing to america today. that's why we have to get together again. voting rights is under attack. we have the "stand your ground." whose ground? the regreggives, i like that word and the racists want us to believe it's their ground. but it's not. it's everybody's ground. what they want is to legalize the right to shoot somebody and kill somebody because their skin color might be, to them, suspicious. [inaudible] we used to call that lynching. the "stand your ground" laws are new pro-lynch laws. why is all of this happening? i believe it's happening because
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the corporations, the people that are running the businesses today want to treat workers however they want to and pay them whatever they can get away with. workers today have fewer rights than they had when the march on washington took place. the right organize has been diminished. the promise of a secure future has virtually been destroyed. when king spoke in 1963, the federal minimum wage was $1.25 an hour. adjusted for inflation, today that would be $9.54. just to keep up with inflation. but the minimum wage today is only $7.25. america has taken a step
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backwards. we have lost our position as the world's greatest land of opportunity. a recent study has shown there are some 40 other nations that have greater upward mobility than america. a few individuals are making billions. but most of us are just making do. joining together in unions has always been and still is the only way mesh -- americans of gaining economic mobility and fairness. i believe all of these bad things happening today have a one purpose to keep us apart from each other to keep us from joining together and joining in unions. you know, at the time of the
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march, i wish dr. king, instead of having a dream said i have a plan. well, today i want americans coming together like we will on saturday. it begins by all of us sticking together. no matter what we do for our -- living, no matter our color of skin, or ethnic group or how long we've been here. so -- been here for a generation. it doesn't matter. coming together and with unions every job in america will become a good job. we should be paid for the value of our work. sanitation workers have saved
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more lives than all the doctors and hospitals combined. the reason we have sanitation is prevent disease. it's these workers who are keeping us alive. american families, american workers will indeed overcome. thank you. [applause] thank you, larry. clarence? >> good evening. >> good evening. >> i love down-home audiences. when you say good good evening. they say it back. i'm an observer. i'm a journalist.
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fifty years ago, i was a 16-year-old kid in high school in middletown, ohio, john boehner's district, if you don't know the area. i was a minimum-wage worker. john boehner was too. he got a factory and got a paycheck with a pay stub he looked at his stub, saw how much he was paying in taxes and became republican. [laughter] a well-known move in america. i -- years ago, since 1963, actually, '64 the next year when the civil rights was being abilitied on -- voted on. barry goldwater voted against it. i decided then i was not a republican. i had grown up with a family that was very republican. i am grateful of the republican
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party. dirkson from illinois, without his leadership, larry, you remember very well. . without his leadership the civil rights couldn't have passed. i have to say this -- it's a different world. a different world. when i was a kid, we go down to what our family called the old country and most of you know it as alabama, we went shopping and i -- we were in a five and ten cent store. it was a long time ago. when a nickel and dime was worth something. i said i want to get a thing of water and found my parents. my mother said to my dad, you better follow him. and my dad found me standing in front of two water fountains, side by side. one marked white, one marked color. there i was on the one marked colored, turning the water on and off dispoibted it --
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disappointed it was coming out clear. [laughter] turn to my dad and said why is this little thing here. it's the first time i heard the word segregation. i saw that is preface. we have it in the north too, we didn't just have the signs. joe and i remember from ohio. i used to go dayton we couldn't go there because colored people couldn't go there. i was reading dr. king's letter from birmingham jail. what inspired him to go to the civil rights' movement. he had to tell his daughter she couldn't to go to kiddyland. fifty years ago watching dr. king on television changed my life. i decided i wanted to be an eye within to history. and my high school newspaper advisor thought i had some talent in this business.
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i'm happy to say we're not -- we're celebrating more than one anniversary this coming week. this weekend i'm going back to middletown, this is mary kindle's is 100 years old next week. we thank you. let's hear it for mrs. kindle. [applause] any of you all don't like my journalism, blame her. [laughter] she got me in this. back when i got the pulitzer back in '89, and the dayton and middletown reporters and all were calling me up to do stories, i went back and found my yearbook and and opened it up. i found her picture, she autographed my yearbook. remember me when you win your pulitzer, don't forget. i didn't forget. anyway. i still have to say that dr. king's speech was, in some ways too successful. it colorized poverty. why do i say that?
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because remember -- and in the early '60s you said the word poverty you had an image of maybe bobby kennedy with a poor white family. after dr. king's speech and march on washington, civil rights act, voting rights act, and then the riot and over 400 outbreaks urban unrest in the next few years. poverty got a black face. started to think about a black family on the west side of chicago. dr. king moved to a tenement apartment. dr. king became a leader in the antipoverty movement. and this had an effect. with in the media had the path tholings. one is an oversimplified view of the word. what happens is that certain
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issues can identify with certain people. stlernl are forces of reaction that come up. joe, you are absolutely right about the regressives. also known as reactionary. i call them the radical right. george wallace, was influential in shaping in today's politics as anybody. he lead the forces of backlash in the mid '60s. and dr. king when he moved civil rights, race, to poverty reminded me of a story my daddy used to tell me about a preacher preaching the tend commandment on on sunday morning. how to shall not kill and deacon in the front said amen! he said shall not steal. he said right on reverend, preach on. thou shall not commitment
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adultery. he got up and walked out the door. he said you have to stop breeching and going to med -- met land. up in new york, chicago, up in northern clives, mayordayly in chicago said you stop preaching and going to medland. read your history. that was dr. king's failure was the chicago project. why? he said and got bamboozled by the mayor. he kept putting him off and said, okay, we're going to sign the cough mans. once king went back to alabama he went back to what he was doing. we get bamboozled in the immediate -- media, politics, today poverty has a decidedly black face or hispanic face. but in fact, most poor folks in this country are white. but you heard the book "what is
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the matter of kansas" when the writer went back to kansas what is going on? the center of populism of working class people rising up against those forces press them. what happened to them? george wallace happened to them. populism today is the tea party. talk about populism. it was coopt. it was colorized. the whole issue. yet, charles muir i are, who wrote a book called "bell curve" which i won't go in to that. he redeemed himself with another book call -- about two nations. it was about white america. he got in so much trouble writing about black folks. she stayed away from it. the wage and income gap in white america. how it has been growing since the late 1950s. same amount of time of the civil rights era. it was the decentralizization of
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america. the steel mill where i worked and made enough money to pay for college in the winter time where the tuition was, i had to check the joke. i thought my memory was failing me. my tuition was $770. 1965. to go to ohio university. setting up my journalism career. what is -- well over ten times now that now. where are the steel mill jobs? they ain't there. that's mobility. that's what larry is talking about. that's upward mobility. my father was a janitor, my mother was a cooking cook but through upward mobility i was able to take advantage of opportunity and move up from minimum wage to higher income. over a third of black america moved from below poverty to the middle class in '65 and '85. i defie do you find me any other
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society on the plan that made thatch advance that fast once we were given the opportunity. that's upward mobility. but as you have also just heard the actual wage has gone down in that amount of time. that is why i thank change to win for tipping me off to the story of what was going on here. why i recently wrote a column about this issue, and plan to do more. more work has to be done. i was happy when "the new york times" came along last week. the first time i beat them to a story. they have a nice editorial last week catching up on the issue. most of america hasn't. i'm with you too, and for the sake of the next generation and keeping upward mobility alive in the country. anyway, i talked enough. don't get me started. thank you very much. [applause]
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>> so everyone here starting with joe and everyone on the panel discuss the parallel between the '60s and today. i was wondering if each of you could talk about, you know, what young people can do today to try to build a mass movement for economic justice. >> let me take us back maybe a year or so ago when young people were occupying stuff. [laughter] because those youngsters raise the monumental question in the context of this nation. how we can tolerate the incredible wealth at the top and the unimaginable poverty at the bottom and still go on with business as usual. young people who are much more idealistic than us oldies really
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ought to be having the discussion about the unequity in the workplace, about the unfairness in the workplace. about the shift they created a fairly level playing field. workers had the right to organize and bargain collectively with their employers. what we see now is an attack on workers' rights, trade union rights, an attack on just average people. what we saw in wisconsin was the tragedy in the context of the assault on a fundamental right, than is to have a right to organize and bargain collectively. and we went on with business as usual. we look at a seven or 8% number in the context of workers represented in the private sector. once you get that low, trade union rights almost becom
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irrelevant. young people can join the rank of those who want to organize workers. organize communities and have people fight back for their share of the american dream. >> thank you. i want we need to recognize the situation today is different than it was fifty years ago. fifty years ago, the jobs and freedom what was meant then was that african-americans and other minorities were being kept out of the work force. if they had jobs they were being paid less than whites doing the same work. and this is how the system made huge profits. now they have come up with a new way.
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they have teen any pieces. they are hiring as few full-time workers as possible. it's not true that the jobs being created are just private sector. the only sector that is ever created any jobs is government. ever. what we're headed for as commentators americans have to
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learn to make do with less. that's the word going out. it's different today. it isn't just unemployment or jobs. it's more complicated. i think that young people should have in their mind and what they should be putting throughout is what i was saying earlier. we're all america. take away from the march on washington 1963, is the crowd. not a speech. but all of these people coming together. to bring people together to have to understand that it's to their interest, their economic interest to come together. low wages hurt us all. a rising tide might raise boats, but an avalanche of rocks sinks
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all boats. people need to understand that it is to their interest to get together, and going back to what complairns is saying. the studies show that the poorest states in this country are the reddest states. that's weird. people are voting against their own interests. >> americans always do. [applause] that's another story. go ahead. >> it's true. >> i think young people and us all need to reach tout to the average. not the leaders fooling others. not the corporations financing. the average person in the tea party is making a lot less than they used to.
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they're being told what people are told. i'll use this term, all fascist systems, in germany. you have unemployment, it's the jews. here you have unemployment, that's not us. not the corporations. it's not us manipulating it's not goldman sachs. it's immigrants. we need to reach out to folks and explain to them that it's not the immigrants, it's the folks that are telling them that it's the immigrant that are. another thing, maybe i'm speaking my age here. speaking directly to the young people. i think it's important -- when we were in the movement, we did not mistake a machine for the
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movement. dmin graph -- it's just a way of getting the message out. >> you're showing your age. [laughter] >> true. >> nice, twitter. >> exactly. that's my point. today social media is just get the message out. it's not the movement itself. young people have to get out from front of their computers. they have to raise hell, like frederick douglass said. i'm paraphrasing. if you want freedom withouting inging -- agitation you want crops without seed. territorial-type dr -- tear [applause]